West Kirby RNLI responds to multiple calls for assistance on sunny Spring day
West Kirby RNLI was called out in quick succession to assist a small party of walkers on Middle Hilbre and then in response to a separate call concerning people in the water by Little Eye.
West Kirby RNLI was requested by HM Coastguard to launch at 11.03am following a call made by a stranded walker on Middle Hilbre. The woman, along with her two daughters and two medium-sized dogs, had become cut off by the incoming 10-metre high tide. They had returned to Middle Hilbre rather than attempt to reach Little Eye when realising that the tide was quickly rising. The casualties were unharmed and did not require any medical assistance. They were relieved and grateful to the crew for their rapid response. They had underestimated the height of the tide and that it is necessary to leave Hilbre Island at least three and a half hours before high water on large tides of 9-metres or more.
The volunteer crew were carrying out a de-briefing at the station just after midday when HM Coastguard requested West Kirby RNLI’s assistance in the area by Little Eye. A concerned member of the public had telephoned HM Coastguard having seen people waving in the water by Little Eye. Three kite surfers were involved in a lesson and upon reaching the area the volunteer crew spoke with the individuals who reassured the crew that they were not in any distress and did not require assistance.
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. The telephone call concerning the kite surfers was ‘a call of good intent’ and if you see someone in trouble, do not hesitate to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
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.