Morecambe lifeboat crew rescue people from vehicles caught by incoming tide
At 12.20pm on Friday 2 August 2019, Morecambe’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew were tasked by HM Coastguard to go to the aid of 2 people reported to be on the roof of a van cut off by the tide, on the causeway between Overton and Sunderland Point.
The inshore rescue lifeboat proceeded by road in order to launch at Snatchems while members of the local coastguard team maintained observation of the casualties from the shore. After making their way down river, the inshore lifeboat crew arrived on scene to find that 2 vehicles, a van and a car, had been caught in the tide. The car was almost fully submerged, with only its roof visible, the car driver being forced to seek refuge on the roof of the van. Then both casualties, a man and a woman, were taken on board the lifeboat and taken safely to shore at Overton.
Morecambe RNLI volunteer Deputy Launching Authority, Colin Midwinter, said ‘We strongly advise people to comply with the warning signs and respect the water by checking the time and height of tide before venturing out onto the causeway as the road floods quickly and you can easily be stranded. If you are unfortunate enough to get caught, we recommend that you do as these people did; get as high above the water as you can, call for help and wait to be rescued. Don’t be tempted to try and walk or swim to shore. Once flooded, the area has deep hidden channels and gullies as well as strong under water currents.’
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.