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West Kirby RNLI rescue stranded walkers from Middle Hilbre

Lifeboats News Release

West Kirby RNLI responded to a distress call made after two women found themselves cut off by a faster than normal incoming spring tide.

RNLI/David Edwards

West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard at 11.12am to advance to the south of Middle Hilbre. Two female walkers were returning, by foot, to West Kirby Beach having initially checked the tide timetable so as to plan their outing accordingly. They set out two hours prior to high water from Hilbre Island rather than the recommended three hours, and soon realised that they would not be able to reach the shore without becoming cut off by the incoming spring tide of 9.8m. Helmed by Neil Potter and with crew members Joe Hughes-Jones and Adrian Gregan, the inshore lifeboat upon reaching the casualties carried out a medical assessment. One of the party had sustained an injury to her foot, and was wet, and the other shaken; both did not require any serious medical attention.

West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat, following their return to the Sandy Lane slipway, relaunched so as to escort a man off the wall West Kirby Marine Lake as the fast incoming tide had begun to flood it. This precautionary measure was taken as both HM Coastguard and West Kirby RNLI considered the now covered walkway hazardous due to the depth of water either side and potential risk of slipping.

Speaking following the call out, Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The female walkers were correct to check the tide timetables and we would recommend that visitors to Hilbre Island set off at least 3 hours before high water. They were absolutely right to contact HM Coastguard for advice and for not continuing beyond Middle Hilbre once they realised the speed at which the tide was flooding. With higher than normal spring tides forecast this weekend, areas may be cut off faster than normal. Anyone heading to the island must ensure that they check the time table and ensure that they have enough time to return. If you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’


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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.

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