Crew Photograph: Back L to R: Dave Lowe Senior Helmsman, Lee Arnall, Tim Weare, Matt Fossett, Matt Gill Front: Tractor Driver Mike Jones
Author: Bob Warwick
Two people with their dog were rescued by New Brighton lifeboat crew after they had been cut off by the incoming tide on the beach on the Harrison Drive side of the breakwater past New Brighton’s well know Clown statue.
Units from HM Coastguard, Ambulance Service and Merseyside Fire & Rescue were presenton the New Brighton Promenade. Merseyside Marine Fire & Rescue were also called out and joined our lifeboat while the casualties were being escorted ashore. Our sister station at RNLI Hoylake were also alerted but then quickly stood down.
Dave Lowe Senior Helmsman at New Brighton lifeboat station and in charge of Atlantic 85 B-837 Charles Dibdin lifeboat reported ‘ We received the alert from HM Coastguard at 5:15pm and launched our lifeboat from the nearest slipway. With the tide still well out the steepness of Portland slipway takes considerable care to safely get the lifeboat rig onto the beach. Full credit goes to our tractor driver Mike Jones who did a first class job negotiating this and getting us into the water as quickly as possible. We launched in very shallow water so to lighten our load we dropped our ballast and trimmed the engines to enable us to deal with these conditions.’
He continued ‘We reached the area close to the casualties within a couple of minutes from launch. Our depth sounder read zero and we quickly came to a halt in the sand. Two of our crew Matt Fossett and Matt Gill went over the side, quickly pushed the lifeboat off the sand and immediately waded out to the two people and dog. At this point water was over the casualties knees and they were feeling the cold. They decided it was best to wade ashore with them, negotiating chest deep water on the way which illustrates the danger of the situation the casualties were in. They safely reached the shore and passed casualties into the care of the the waiting HM Coastguard and Ambulance teams. Meanwhile we in the lifeboat maintained our position until all were safely ashore and then we returned to station for check over, wash down and refuel.’
Graham Sale, Lifeboat Operations Manager at RNLI New Brighton commented ‘ This was a good example of a multi agency operation in response to what could have had a very serious outcome. We have had several incidents this year to people cut off by the tide while walking their dogs. Its imperative that people know the tide times and movements in this area. The tide sweeps in rapidly along the many channels quickly cutting people off from the shore. Today the people were stranded almost 4 hours before high tide at Liverpool. The raising of the alarm by a keen sighted and quick thinking member of the public averted a potential tragedy.’