Holy Island Causeway has sanctuaries above high tide level

Holy Island Causeway has large warning signs in addition to local tide tables being available – if in doubt ask the locals because they know the dangers

When you call for help Seahouses Libeboat and its flank stations will respond together with the Coast Guard, even in very bad conditions at risk to their own lives

The Holy Island Causeway regularly sees walkers and vehicles stranded by the tide even though there are tide tables and large warning signs. Please make sure this Summer that you check tide times before using any tidal causeway. If you see yourself in danger please make for the nearest sanctuary, if one is provided, and call for help – STAY SAFE  THIS SUMMER……. SARN Ed.

At 12:15hr on Tuesday 30 July 2019, 6 walkers were trying to cross the  Pilgrims Way footpath across the sands at Holy Island, but found themselves trapped by the rising tide. With water to their chests, they called 999 and requested help.



Seahouses Inshore Lifeboat was launched, and made best speed to the walkers’ location. Holy Island Coastguard Rescue Team were also mobilised with water rescue equipment.

On arrival of the lifeboat, some difficulty was experienced when trying to reach the casualties’ location, due to sand banks and shallow areas of water. The Holy Island Coastguard Rescue Team managed to rescue two of the group, while another was helped ashore by one of the lifeboat crew. The remaining three were brought ashore by the lifeboat. A Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Prestwick also attended, and the paramedic winchman was able to assess the casualties once safely ashore. As they had been immersed in cold water for over an hour, there was concern about hypothermia. The helicopter crew offered to take two to hospital as a precaution, but they declined, preferring to stay with their friends.

Walkers are advised not to attempt to walk across the Pilgrims Way after low water, and the incoming tide can quickly surround and cut off anyone on that path  way across the sands.


The Lifeboat was then returned to station at 14:30hr that day.

Back at Seahouses during this incident, other members of the lifeboat crew went to the assistance of a female who had injured her ankle in front of the station by the Boat Trip Booking Offices. She was checked over and assisted by the crew (all of whom are casualty care medics) and given medical advice. She did not require an ambulance.