COASTGUARD crews have dealt with “a huge number of incidents” since the announcement of the UK lockdown.

Despite a torrent of advice from authorities to stay at home to avoid the spread of coronavirus, the agency has had to tend to an influx of broken down yachts and pleasure boats.

There are now fears that warm weather forecast this weekend will encourage more people down to the Sussex coast.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “The Government has been clear that during this coronavirus pandemic we need to ‘stay home, save lives’. Despite that, we’ve had a huge number of incidents at the coast and on the sea, including yachts aground and pleasure boats broken down. This shouldn’t be happening.

“Every 999 call made could put our frontline responders at risk of covid-19 and places avoidable pressure on our vital NHS services. Stretch your legs, but not our resources by staying close to home for your exercise.”