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Man cut off by the tide rescued by Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew

Lifeboats News Release

Attempt to walk to the Fylde Coast prevented by river channel and rising tide.

A lifeboat Land Rover tows the Lytham St Annes ILB past two Coastguard vehicles and Coastguards ensuring the rescued man is unharmed

RNLI/David Forshaw

The Lytham St Annes inshore lifeboat is brought back with the Lytham St Annes Coastguard Team in the background with the casualty

A man attempted to walk across the mouth of the Ribble Estuary from Southport to Blackpool on Sunday (4 June 2017) but as he approached the north bank opposite Lytham Town he found the main channel of the Ribble blocking his path.

The tide had now turned and was quickly flooding the estuary leaving the man not enough time to retrace his steps over four miles to safety. Fortunately the 10 mile perch, a tall wooden navigation aid marking the river channel, was close enough for him to wade to and scramble half way up to comparative safety above the level of the rapidly rising tide.

The man could not be left exposed up the perch all night so Her Majesty’s Coastguard requested the Lytham St Annes D class inshore lifeboat (ILB) MOAM to launch at 6:05pm and rescue him from his precarious position and bring him across to Lytham.

The ILB was taken to Seafield slipway and launched under the command of Helmsman Vinny Pedley. Extricating the man from his perch, the ILB brought him across the river, returning to Seafield Road slipway. The RNLI volunteers then passed him into the care of the Lytham St Annes Coastguard Team who made sure he was fit and capable to continue his journey to Blackpool unaided.

RNLI Helmsman Vinny Pedley later said: 'It was a short service but a necessary one as although the man could keep above the level of the rising water while up the 10 mile perch, he could easily have succumbed to exposure if left throughout the night until the next low tide released him. He would then have still had to walk back to Southport as he had no means to cross the channel.'

The ILB was returned to her boathouse and refuelled, washed off and made ready for the next time she is needed.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact David Forshaw, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07904 685206.

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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