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Two adults, one child and a dog rescued by Wells Inshore Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

At 4pm on Tuesday 1 September a family found themselves cut off by the incoming tide on a spit of sand off Holkham beach. Realising that they were surrounded by rapidly rising water they raised the alarm and the Coastguard paged the RNLI Wells inshore lifeboat shortly after 4pm.

RNLI Wells inshore lifeboat in action


RNLI Wells inshore lifeboat in action

The lifeboat launched at 4.16pm with a volunteer crew of three and proceeded towards the casualties who could be seen clearly from the boathouse. The crew arrived on scene at 4.24pm and ascertained that, apart from being wet, they were all ok and the best option was to ferry them back to safety at the beach by the lifeboat house. They were landed ashore at 4.34pm and made their own way to their vehicle in the car park.

The lifeboat was sanitised, refuelled and ready again for service at 5.00pm

People visiting Wells and Holkham beaches at low tide see miles of inviting sand with the sea in the distance. It is an easy walk to the water’s edge but it is not as safe as it looks. The tide will turn during the day and start to come in again quite rapidly, sometimes sneaking in behind you before you realise it. The depth increases at a rate of more than 1m (3ft per hour) and keeps rising to a depth of 3m (10ft) or more at high tide.

To stay safe, beach goers are advised to make sure they know the high water time and to start heading back to the beach entrance five hours before high tide. High tide times can be found online and in local publications; be sure to read times for the beach you are planning to visit. They can also be found in most beach car parks and there should be someone there who can offer advice.

For any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Peter Rainsford, Chairman Wells Lifeboat Management Group and acting press officer, 07789 967 255 [email protected]

Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer for the North and East on (07824) 518641 [email protected]

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.