RNLI Wells crew member wades through deep water to assist group cut off by tide

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Wells inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard on 2 November at 1.11pm to assist a group of three who had got into difficulties walking on Wells beach, when they found themselves cut off by the incoming tide.

Wells beach at low tide showing the channels and drains where the tide comes in cutting people off from the safety of the main beach

RNLI/Mark Frary

Wells beach at low tide showing the channels and drains where the tide comes in and can cut people off from the safety of the main beach

Other members of the party had called 999 from the safety of the shore, and the incident had also been reported by the local National Coastwatch at Wells.

The Wells inshore lifeboat Peter Wilcox launched at 1.23pm outside the boathouse and proceeded out of the harbour toward the West side of Wells beach.

The local Coastguard team joined the other members of the party on the shore, keeping the people cut off in visual sight, whilst they awaited the arrival of the inshore lifeboat.

At 1.29pm the inshore lifeboat arrived on scene and landed a crew member on the beach to the seaward side of the group. The volunteer crew member waded through the water to the area where the group of three were waiting.

Cold and wet but with no injuries, the three people, aided by the lifeboat crewman, waded across the beach, waist high in water, to an area of safety on adjacent higher ground, whilst the inshore lifeboat navigated through the water on the flooding tide, so they could pick up them up.

The group of three, and the crew member were safely onboard the lifeboat at 1.41pm. The lifeboat returned to the boathouse, arriving at 1.48pm where they were met by the other members of their party and the local Coastguard team.

Members of the lifeboat crew identified other parties, who if they did not return to the safety of the main beach would similarly be in danger of being cut off. So, the inshore lifeboat returned to the area to speak to two other groups of people, advising them to return to the safety of the mainland without further delay.

The inshore lifeboat returned to the station at 2.05pm, where it was sanitised, rehoused, refuelled and back on service again at 3pm.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Hardy, said ‘it was a beautiful sunny day, and understandably people are going to want to take a walk along our stunning coastline, but it is important that they check the tide times and make their way back to the beach huts at least four hours before high tide, so that they don’t find themselves cut off.’

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.