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West Kirby RNLI assists group chest deep in rising tide by Middle Hilbre

Lifeboats News Release

West Kirby RNLI were called out to Middle Hilbre following a call from a female walker who had spotted a family of five chest deep in water to the south of the island.

RNLI/David Edwards

West Kirby RNLI was requested by HM Coastguard to launch at 1.31pm in response to this call. The female walker had become cut off by the higher than normal incoming tide and consequently found herself and her dog stranded on Middle Hilbre. During her call for assistance she spotted a group of day-trippers to Hilbre Island in a precarious situation due to the fast flooding tide. The family of five were positioned in a line along a ridge of rocks to the south of Middle Hilbre. This party included a young girl of five whose father was struggling to lift her head clear of the tide. All casualties were highly distressed and required immediate assistance. They had received the suggestion to walk to Hilbre without being informed that it is in a tidal location. On reaching this group, one of the volunteer crew entered the water to look after the grandmother and aunt, and to provide them with some reassurance whilst the lifeboat proceeded to the group that included the young child. The child and her parents were transferred into the lifeboat, which then moved back towards the remaining family members.

Further along the ridge of rocks West Kirby RNLI spotted the female walker and then a couple of young adults, a male and female. They were all soaking wet due to immersion in the flooding tide and cold from the increasing wind.

Those requiring immediate attention due to the onset of hypothermia were transported by lifeboat to the awaiting West Kirby RNLI Hagglund BV, situated to the east side of Middle Hilbre. These casualties were returned to the shore and received medical assistance. The remaining casualties were taken by West Kirby RNLI lifeboat to the Sandy Lane slipway by West Kirby Sailing Club.

Speaking following the call out, Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Getting cut off by the tide can be a frightening experience. We would remind visitors to Hilbre to check the tidal information before setting out and to take appropriate clothing. There is information concerning tide times and height on the noticeboard opposite to the ice-cream kiosk at the Dee Lane end of the Marine Lake and online. If you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

RNLI/David Edwards

RNLI/David Edwards

RNLI/David Edwards

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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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