RNLI Seahouses to the rescue once again, this time supported by flank station RNLI Berwick
Image of a previous stranding on the causeway
In addition to easily available local information on tide times, electronic signs give warnings on the approaches to the causeway
At 12:23hr on Sunday 08 March 2020, UK Coastguards received multiple emergency calls reporting a number vehicles and people trapped on Holy Island Causeway, by the fast incoming tide. One vehicle contained two adults and a 3yr old child, who were starting to panic as the choppy sea was breaking over the windows and had filled the car with sea water.
Seahouses Inshore lifeboat was called out, together with Coastguard Rescue Teams from Holy Island and the mainland. As initial reports suggested multiple casualties, Berwick Inshore Lifeboat was also requested to back up the Seahouses crew. Sea conditions approaching the causeway were quite choppy. On arrival of the Seahouses Inshore Lifeboat, two Water Rescue trained Coastguard Officers had managed to wade out to the vehicle with two adults and the child, which also contained a Doberman dog! The Coastguard Officers had been able to calm and reassure the occupants who were transferred to the Inshore Lifeboat with their dog, and were wet, cold and in shock. An ambulance had been requested. The Lifeboat crew then checked on the welfare of the occupants of a second trapped car, who were an elderly couple still sitting in their flooded vehicle with the sea splashing on the car windows. After checking they were in no immediate danger, one Seahouses Lifeboat Crewman remained with them, while the others were landed on the mainland side of the causeway, and handed into the care of awaiting Coastguard Rescue Officers, Ambulance and Police crews. The Lifeboat then returned and brought the remaining elderly couple ashore, who were also cold, wet, in shock and at risk of hypothermia. By this time the Berwick Inshore Lifeboat had arrived, and assisted the Seahouses Crew to ensure all persons were safe and accounted for, and some personal effects were rescued from the vehicles.
Seahouses Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton added, “This was a call that required a quick response as the cars were beginning to float, and were at risk of being washed away, which could have resulted in loss of life. Good co-operation with our colleagues from the Coastguard, Berwick RNLI, Northumbria Police and North East Ambulance, ensured a potentially dangerous situation was safely managed with a positive outcome.”