RNLI New Brighton issues tidal awareness plea to beachgoers ahead of summer
As Wirral coastlines get busier during the coming months the RNLI lifeboat station warns people to be aware of tide times to avoid being stranded.
An increase in the number of people flocking to the seaside during summer months unfortunately means more visitors cut off from the shore by not being aware of tidal movements or underestimating the speed of incoming tides.
Before setting out, check tide times and read local safety signs or ask a lifeguard to make sure of high and low water times. Never judge the length of time left to get back to the shore by looking at the waterline, as tides move quickly and are deceptive.
‘We welcome people to our coastlines and want everyone to enjoy all our beaches have to offer,’ RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Thornton said: ‘But I can’t stress enough how crucial it is that people not only make sure they know the tide times but that they are aware of just how quickly the tide comes in.
‘Tides vary throughout the month too. A beach that was clear yesterday at 4pm might be completely covered in sea at the same time today, while water depth can change by as much as 10 metres over a day. Allow plenty of time to return because you can be stranded before you know it. And of course always tell someone where you are going.’
Areas to watch for include causeway access to islands which are covered and uncovered by water during tidal cycles and sandbanks that become isolated by water flowing around them. Headlands with bays that are cut off by incoming tides are also a risk.
Always take a means of calling for help. If someone is in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
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, in a normal year, 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.