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Hoylake RNLI urges public to check tides after half term rescues

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI crew at Hoylake are urging visitors to the Wirral coast to take extra care after two call-outs during the half term break to people cut off by high tides.

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft was called to the rescue in two incidents on Leasowe Beach this week as high 'spring' tides saw fast-flooding water cutting walkers off from the shore.

On Wednesday 22 February, two dog walkers found themselves cut off while out enjoying a sunny morning walk. The alarm was raised at 9.47am and the hovercraft Hurley Spirit and her volunteer crew launched to the casualties’ reported location between Barber’s Folly and Leasowe Lighthouse. The Wirral and Crosby Coastguard Rescue Teams were also tasked.

The two casualties and their dogs were soon located near the small boat moorings at Meols and were helped on board the RNLI hovercraft as the tide covered the area where they were stood. After a quick check to ensure they needed no medical assistance, the casualties and their dogs were flown ashore to Meols and passed to Coastguard officers.

The next day on Thursday 23 February, a dog walker and a family of five were also reportedly at risk of getting cut off by the incoming tide on Leasowe Beach. The hovercraft Hurley Spirit and her volunteer crew were tasked again at 10.33am alongside the Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team.

While on their way to the scene, it was confirmed that all of the casualties had managed to make their own way ashore safely. As the tide was still flooding, the Coastguard requested that the RNLI hovercraft sweep the beach to ensure nobody else was in difficulty. The RNLI hovercraft crew searched the shoreline and with nobody else needing any assistance, the hovercraft was stood down and returned to station.

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft commander Matt Pownall-Jones said: ‘We’ve seen some big "spring" tides on the Wirral coast this week, so our beaches will be covered by the high water much quicker than usual. It's quite common for people out walking to find themselves cut off unexpectedly, so it’s lucky that the alarm was raised in good time on both occasions, otherwise the casualties may have found themselves in a much more dangerous situation.’

Matt added: ‘Our RNLI crews and lifeguards respond to hundreds of incidents each year with people cut off by the tide, particularly during the school holidays. If you're heading out across the beach, always check the weather forecast, tide times and local safety signage, keep an eye on your surroundings, and know your route to safety. Always carry a means of calling for help and if you get into difficulty, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact

Dan Whiteley, Lifeboat Press Officer on 07799 851 316 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

Hoylake RNLI

Hoylake RNLI's volunteer crew launched on two call-outs during the half term break

Hoylake RNLI

Big 'spring' tides have seen the Wirral's beaches covered by water faster than usual

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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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