Skegness RNLI volunteers race to rescue eight people cut off by tide.
Volunteer crew members at Skegness RNLI launched the station's D class inshore lifeboat, The Holland Family yesterday afternoon (9 May 2021) shortly before high water to reports of members of the public stranded to the south of the town, cut off by the incoming tide.
The UK Coastguard (Humber) based at Bridlington paged the volunteer team shortly after five o’clock yesterday afternoon after initial reports were received of two adults and four children, unable to get to safety when they discovered they were cut off by the tide, which had formed a large lagoon between the town's main beach and Gibraltar Point nature reserve, in an area known locally as Greenshanks Creek.
The crew of three launched the town's fast inshore lifeboat, The Holland Family and immediately proceeded south to search the south side of the River Haven at Gibraltar Point, after the initial reports of people cut off to the ‘south of the river’ were given in the crews information brief.
After the crew had navigated the tricky approaches to the river, a more accurate location was passed and they made best speed to an area some mile or so north of their initial search to a large inlet which forms a natural lagoon and river at high water.
Once on scene the station's volunteers were able to ascertain that there were, in fact, eight people from several groups who were unable to get across the flooding tidal waters, this included four adults and four children. Local UK Coastguard rescue team members were also called to the scene to help evacuate the casualties.
Three return journeys between the opposite sides of the tidal waters were needed to safely ferry the stranded people back to the safety of the north side of the lagoon, an extra journey was made to transport the Coastguard officers back to the opposite shore, once the members of the public had been landed safely. A total operation which lasted two and a half hours.
RNLI Helmsman, Lee St Quinton, said ‘It’s all too easy to get caught out by the incoming tide, even for people from the relatively local area as in this instance, especially when tides and the weather can influence the shape and access of the beach and make coastal features unpredictable. Thankfully all the parties involved in today's incident did the right thing and dialled 999 and asked for the Coastguard who were able to quickly raise the alarm’.
Lee went on to say ‘today we learnt of the power of the ‘What 3 words’ app that allows emergency services and individual members of the public to precisely locate themselves anywhere in the world to within a few meters. This app (available from most smart phone app stores) gives a three word combination that can be used in emergencies to provide very accurate location information and was pivotal in giving us the location of the stranded people today’.
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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