Rescued dog walker issues stark warning ahead of upcoming Spring tides

Lifeboats News Release

Anne Brookes, from Fleetwood was dramatically rescued by the local RNLI volunteer crew last week, as she became cut off by the incoming tide whilst walking her two dogs

With bigger than usual tides in the coming days, she has teamed up with the RNLI and using her experience to warn others about the importance of checking the weather and tides.

Fleetwood RNLI lifeboat launched their new inshore lifeboat Harbet last Friday, following a call to HM Coastguard from National Coastwatch at Rossall. The volunteer crew arrived to find Anne holding her dogs Lili Pup and RuffRock in her arms, as they became engulfed by the tide during a walk opposite the Marine Lake.

Anne said:

‘I was so relieved to see the RNLI lifeboat. The crew were fantastic with the dogs and we were so grateful to them for picking us up. It was a frightening experience.’

Fleetwood RNLI lifeboat helmsman Skip Frith said:

‘Whenever we are called to a dog rescue, we don’t quite know how they are going to react. You can only hope they aren’t going to be too distressed and snappy being picked up by strangers and put into a lifeboat. These dogs were great and almost looked as relieved as Anne when we returned them safely to the shore.’

RNLI statistics show people getting cut off by the tide caused almost 10% of all RNLI lifeboat launches over the last decade - more than double the UK average. Lifeguards rescue hundreds more stranded people every year.

The RNLI is warning people in the North West to take beach safety seriously ahead of some of the highest tides of the year over the coming days, which often see people becoming cut off and requiring the charity’s help. The tide will build this weekend and the Spring tide will peak on Wednesday 28 April. The lifesaving charity is urging people to check the weather and tides before visiting the coast.

RNLI Water Safety Lead Chris Cousens says:

‘RNLI lifeboats around the North west coast are ready to respond to emergency situations, but we are urging people to think very carefully about beach safety. People becoming cut off by the tide makes up a greater proportion of lifeguard and lifeboat rescues in the North West than other areas of the UK. We’d urge people to think carefully before setting off on a coastal walk, especially during the big spring tides.

‘The tide comes in and out twice in each 24 hour period, and while tide times can be accurately predicted, they vary at each location and change each day. A beach or coastal area may appear a safe place for a walk, but incoming tide can quickly leave you stranded. On bigger tides like we will see in the coming days, places will be cut off by the tide quicker than normal and places usually unaffected by the tide may also be cut off.

‘That’s why checking the weather and tides using a trusted online source, such as magicseaweed.com, the BBC weather or a tidal prediction app before setting off on any trip is essential. However, we realise that people setting out on a walk may not have that understanding of what the tide time means to them.’

The RNLI is urging anyone choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice along with the government’s advice on travel and social distancing:

· Visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and swim between the red and yellow flags - find your nearest at rnli.org.uk/lifeguardedbeaches

· Wherever you are, check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks

· If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.

· In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager, West, on 07786 668829/ danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk or Fleetwood Lifeboat Press Officer Ken Harcombe, Fleetwood RNLI Volunteer Press Officer, on 07970 197195 / ken_harcombe@rnli.org.uk

Fleetwood RNLI

Anne was waist deep in water when Fleetwood RNLI arrived

Fleetwood RNLI

Lili Pup and RuffRock were pleased to see the RNLI lifeboat approaching

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.

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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.

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