Man cut off by the tide rescued by Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew
Attempt to walk to the Fylde Coast prevented by river channel and rising tide.
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.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.