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Hunstanton RNLI hovercraft crew rescues three people cut off by the tide

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Hunstanton RNLI lifeboat station rescued three people who had been cut off by the tide on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday 28 May at 5.10pm the UK Coastguard requested the launch of Hunstanton's Inshore Rescue Hovercraft (IRH) after a report that people were in difficulty after being cut off by the tide on the banks at Heacham Beach.

The volunteer crew launched the hovercraft and proceeded to the area, arriving to find three people. They picked them up and took them back to the beach into the care of the local Coastguard Rescue Team.

After chatting to the casualties and highlighting the risks of going out on to the banks and fast changing tides, the crew were informed that other people were thought to be in trouble down towards Snettisham, and were requested to carry out a search of that area.

The crew informed the UK Coastguard that all people were now safely on the beach and they returned to the lifeboat station.

Robin Rafferty, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Hunstanton RNLI, said: 'We would advise people to be very careful and know the risks if they venture out onto the flats or banks at Hunstanton, Heacham or Snettisham. However tempting, tides in the area go out over a mile on big ebb tides, and when the tide turns the currents can be very strong.

'Although tides are predictable, weather conditions can change very quickly and catch people out. We would advise people to respect the water and stay safe.

RNLI media contacts

  • Geoff Needham, Lifeboat Press Officer, Hunstanton RNLI, 01485 525409 (home), 07932 026265 (mobile)
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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.

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