Sunderland RNLI launch to walkers cut off by incoming tide

Lifeboats News Release

At 11:24am on Saturday morning volunteers from Sunderland RNLI launched their D class lifeboat to a family who had been cut off by the tide.

Launching the D Class lifeboat at Sunderland


Sunderland RNLI D Class lifeboat launch

The alarm was raised when one of the casualties realised the danger of their situation and called 999 to request help from the Coastguard.

The Coastguard immediately requested the assistance of Sunderland RNLI's D class inshore lifeboat and the volunteer crew were launched and on their way to the incident within 15 minutes of receiving the call.

Volunteers arrived at the location at Lizard Point, Whitburn where they found a male and female along with a seven-year-old child. The family had been enjoying a walk along the coast before the tide came in and they found themselves separated from each other.

The crew recovered the female onto the lifeboat first as she had only a small area of rocks left to stand on around the incoming tide. The male and the child were then also taken safely onboard the lifeboat.

The three casualties were then handed over to South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade (SSVLB) at a safe location nearby.

RNLI Volunteer Helmsman Paul Nicholson said: 'Thankfully the walkers had their mobile phones with them, which were charged and had good signal so they were able to raise the alarm. With the assistance of SSVLB we were able to quickly locate the family who were in two separate locations, around 100 metres apart. We decided to rescue the female first as we assessed her situation to be more at risk. We then took the male and the child to reunite the family safely ashore. This was an excellent outcome for all involved. We would remind the public to thoroughly check tide times when planning coastal walks and always ensure they have a means to call for help in the event of an emergency. Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'

As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.

Notes to editors

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station is the oldest continually operational lifeboat in the United Kingdom. It was originally opened in 1800 before being adopted by the RNLI in 1865.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station has a profile on Twitter (@SunderlandRNLI) and Facebook (RNLI Sunderland) where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities and news.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates two inshore type lifeboats: An Atlantic 85 8.3m inflatable capable of 35 knots and a D class (IB-1) 4.5m inflatable capable of 25 knots.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone:

Andy McGill, Sunderland RNLI Press Officer on 07980 089622 or email [email protected]

Location of the incident from Marine Traffic

Marine Traffic / Google

Location of the incident at Lizard Point
Location of the lifeboat at the incident on Saturday

Marine Traffic / Google

Location of the lifeboat at the incident on Saturday

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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