FOREIGN VEHICLE SWAMPED ON HOLY ISLAND CAUSEWAY

Photos show the vehicle on the causeway as the lifeboat approached, and the Refuge Box.

Seahouses RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was on a training exercise at the Farne Islands at 3.09pm on Saturday 23 March 2019, when they were tasked by UK Coastguard to go to the assistance of a motor vehicle, reported to be swamped on Holy Island Causeway. Two occupants had managed to reach the refuge box after abandoning the vehicle.

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On arrival, the lifeboat crew found a horsebox type campervan partially submerged. The occupants, who were foreign nationals, spoke very little English, and were rescued from the refuge box and landed safely on the mainland side, where they were handed into the care of local coastguard officers. Coastguard units from Seahouses and Holy island had also been mobilised.

Safe crossing times for 23 March 2019 were from 08:20hr till 13:50hr, and unsafe to cross again till 20:50hr. High tide was 16:20hr, and it was a high spring tide. Seahouses Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton commented, “ We suspect that language problems may have contributed to this incident. Fortunately both vehicle occupants were safely brought ashore and neither required medical assistance.”