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Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI called to assist people in difficulties in the north sea

Lifeboats News Release

HM Coastguard requested the immediate assistance of Berwick-upon-Tweed D class lifeboat on Friday 2 June at 3.15pm, after receiving a report of two people in difficulty in the north sea off Spittal beach.

Helmsman Michael Percy, Crew Amy Farragher and Paul Smith make haste to persons in water at Spittal Beach

RNLI/Hazel Bettison

RNLI assist for persons in difficulty in North sea

The D class lifeboat made best speed towards Spittal beach just down from the lifeboat station. The weather was a clear day with sea state slight/moderate, with a breaking swell of waves into the beach.

Thankfully both casualties made it back to the beach safely with the help of a local surfers.

The lifeboat crew made a sweep of the area to make sure all people were accounted for.

In attendance to the shout were the North East Ambulance Service and HM Coastguard.

This shout came only days after the RNLI launched the Float to Live campaign which reveals that 32% of people still do not know what to do if they unexpectedly get into difficulty in the water

There were 226 deaths in the UK from accidental drownings in 2022*, across inland and coastal locations. Of the people who died 40 percent had no intention of entering the water, such as those walking, with causes including slips, trips and falls, being cut off by the tide, or swept in by waves.

Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI wants everyone to enjoy visiting the seaside coast and river, but, to make sure that if an emergency unfolds, people know what to do.

The safety advice is:

If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then call for help to swim to safety if you can.

If you spot someone else in trouble in the water call 999 – if you are at sea or on the beach ask for the Coastguard, or if inland ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Here is a link to a video demonstrating the Float to Live technique:

For further information please see

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Hazel Bettison, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer: [email protected]

How to Float to Live


Float to Live
What to do if your struggling in the water


If your struggling in the water

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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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.