South West Coast Path gets 500th 'life-saving' sign

Start Point All 2,500 signs should be on the South West Coast Path by summer 2012

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The 500th location sign in a network which coastguards believe will save people's lives has been installed on the Devon coast.

The signs contain the place name and a map reference which people can give coastguards when reporting an incident.

The South West Coast Path Team is installing 2,500 signs along the 630-mile (1,014 km) route.

Mick Cook, from the Brixham Coastguard, said: "Response times will improve and lives will be saved."

Mark Owen, the national trail officer for the team, said: "Signs have been installed between Dawlish and Mevagissey and the 500th was at Start Point."

Mr Cook said a universal method was needed as coastguards used latitude and longitude when they rescued at sea, and people used postcodes and street names when they gave directions.

"It's not a full solution, but response times will be much quicker," Mr Cook added.

The project has cost about £3,000 and is being funded by the South West Coast Path Association and a company called Endurancelife, Mr Owen said.

All the signs should be in place by summer 2012.

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