Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteers respond to consecutive call outs
Lytham St Annes RNLI responded to consecutive call outs yesterday to help people who had got into difficulty and were cut off by a rising tide.
The Coastguard requested Lytham St Annes RNLI inshore lifeboat to launch at 4.03pm yesterday (Sunday 7 June) to three incidents at St Annes beach. The initial request was to search for a missing three-year-old boy with the added concern of other people being cut off by the rising tide. The lifeboat was launched with three volunteer crew onboard, all who had prepared with extra Covid-19 PPE.
The lifeboat proceeded down river from her Lytham boathouse heading for St Annes beach with Helm Ben McGarry in command. Partway there, the crew were informed that the child was found safe and well by shore searchers.
The Coastguard Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) at Holyhead then requested the lifeboat crew to go to the help of a person on an inflatable who was thought to be in danger. The lifeboat arrived on scene just as the person managed to make their way back to shore unaided.
With large numbers of people at the waters edge up to a mile off shore as the tide flooded in, the Coastguard then requested the lifeboat crew advise people of the dangers of being cut off by the rapidly rising tide. Over 30 people were given advice by crew members Will Bridge and Jason Banks before the lifeboat returned to her boathouse.
Station volunteers later went from the South Promenade boathouse to advise others who were being surrounded by water as the North Run began to fill in behind them with the flooding tide.
Speaking following the call outs, Lytham St Annes Helm Ben McGarry said: 'There were a lot of people enjoying themselves in the sun but unaware that the tide was surrounding them.
‘Tide times and heights can vary and can easily catch you out if you haven’t checked them. Tidal cut off can be dangerous so we would remind everyone before they head out to make sure it’s safe and to check tide tables. While you are out it is important to be aware of your surroundings and the tide’s direction. Should you get into difficulty dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’
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.