Author: Bob Warwick
In the last two days New Brighton lifeboat stations hovercraft and rapid response lifeboat has been called out to assist walkers cut off by the incoming tide on the Wirral coast.
Two incidents involving the stations hovercraft H-007 Samburgh occurred on Sunday 25th January while the craft was on exercise and diverted to assist those in difficulty. The first incident at 10:40am involved four people with a dog who were cut off on a sand bank out from Kings Parade in New Brighton. The people managed get themselves ashore just before the hovercraft arrived and it appeared that they had waded through waist deep water.
Within an hour a further party of two adults and two children plus dog were reported cut off on a sand bank in the area of Harrison Drive. When the hovercraft reached them they were about 200 yards from shore and in knee height water, three were taken on board the hovercraft and delivered safely ashore to the waiting Hoylake Coastguard team meanwhile one adult and the dog waded ashore.
A further rescue request from HM Coastguard, Holyhead came on Monday 26th January at 1pm with the report of a person cut off out from the Leasowe Bay / Moreton shore. Yesterdays weather although cold had been fairly benign however a cold strong wind and rough sea were the feature of today’s launch which involved the stations rapid response Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-837 Charles Dibdin. The lifeboat was launched and headed off to the area however Hoylake Coastguard team managed to get the person ashore just before we reached the scene and we returned to base for refuel and wash down. In addition to our lifeboat RNLI West Kirby were also requested to send their lifeboat.
New Brighton’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Graham Sale commented ‘ Its very concerning that so many people have managed to get into difficulty in similar circumstances especially at this time of year. The sea is very cold and that combined with cold weather and wind makes for a potentially hazardous situation for anyone who gets into difficulty. Its vital to be aware of the time of the tides and how long its safe to visit the sand banks before returning to shore. As an example the high tide for Liverpool was 3:25pm on Monday afternoon and our call out was 2.5 hours before then. The tides comes in very quickly along channels and gullies and can swiftly cut off anyone on a sand bank. Information re tide times is readily available on the internet plus Apps are available for smartphones etc as well as the traditional booklets stocked by some newsagents. Its vital information both when visiting an area and for locals. In addition there are notice boards around the coast with helpful safety information’.