At 12.59 hrs on Wednesday 20 August 2014, Seahouses Lifeboat had just returned from a PR exercise, with the BBC Film Crew for the “Coast” programme. with presenter Nicolas Crane. The Lifeboat was about to be rehoused, when the call-out pagers sounded. Humber Coastguard reported that four youngsters and two adults were in the water off Seahouses Golf Course, and in serious difficulty.
The Lifeboat was relaunched without delay, and the Inshore Lifeboat was also launched shortly after. The All Weather Lifeboat was quickly on scene, and two persons were located and pulled from the sea onto the lifeboat. Sea conditions were moderate to rough in places, with a strong gusty wind. Three more persons were sighted and also taken aboard the lifeboat. It was then confirmed, after some initial confusion, that all persons in the water were accounted for, and the lifeboat brought all five to Seahouses harbour, where they were placed in the station Landrover and taken to the boathouse. They were treated by the Lifeboat Crew who are all trained as Casualty Care Medics and warmed using blankets, and given hot drinks. All five were deeply shocked, very cold, and some had swallowed sea water. The ambulance service provided a multiple response, and three of the youngsters and the adult, were later taken to Wansbeck Hospital for treatment for possible hypothermia, shock and saltwater ingestion.
Seahouses Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton said, “It was very fortunate for these people, that the lifeboat was able to respond so quickly. Had that not been the case, we fear the outcome may have been very different. Several of the youngsters were suffering the effects of cold water immersion and exhaustion. It seems they were washed out to sea while body boarding by a rip current, and the adult went to their aide, only to get into difficulty too. It serves to underline the RNLI’s current safety campaign to ‘Respect the Water’. We are all relieved that none seem to have suffered any lasting effects from their alarming experience and all should make a full recovery.”
The RNLI have no information as to their identities, other than they were on holiday in the area. Both Lifeboats then returned to station.