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West Kirby RNLI rescue six people cut off by the tide at Hilbre Island

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 17 November, volunteer lifeboat crew from West Kirby RNLI rescued six people who were cut off by the tide on Hilbre Island.

West Kirby RNLI inshore lifeboat launching

West Kirby RNLI

At approximately 12.17pm West Kirby RNLI were tasked by HM Coastguard to reports of six people cut off by the tide on Hilbre Island. The casualties had made the call to the Coastguard themselves realising they were surrounded by the high tide.

The station’s D class inshore lifeboat Leonard Pownall was launched and was on the water within 8 minutes, with Helm Neil Potter and Crew Members Jamie Marston and Joe Hughes-Jones.

The weather was overcast and raining, with a cold westerly breeze. The lifeboat hit the water just before high tide which was a big 8m tide that day.

Leonard Pownall made its way around to Hilbre Island, on route the crew spotted an individual on Middle Eye and informed the Coastguard. They proceeded to Hilbre Island where they located the six casualties. Joe disembarked onto the island to assess the casualties.

Meanwhile Neil and Jamie made the short two minute journey back to Middle Eye to check on the person they had spotted. Jamie disembarked on to Middle Eye and spoke with the individual. He learned that they had all the correct equipment, knew the tides and had planned to stay out there, but that they were thankful for the welfare check.

Due to the quick response time of the lifeboat there was no medical attention required for any of the six casualties on Hilbre Island, although they were all cold and wet. Neil and Jamie arrived back at Hilbre Island where Joe had prepared the casualties to get onboard the lifeboat.

With all the crew and six casualties onboard, they proceeded to Sandy Lane slipway and were met with the additional volunteer crew from West Kirby RNLI, who then carried out some further welfare checks.

All six casualties were happy to make their way home and were very thankful to the crew who had rescued them.

Andy Brown, Launch Authority at West Kirby RNLI said:

‘On this oocasion we were delighted we could get to all six casualties and bring them safely back to shore. Tide times and heights vary throughout the month and can come in much faster than people anticipate.

‘They absolutely did the right thing by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard so we could come to their aid. Our advice is to always check the tide times before you head out, and allow enough time to get back.

'If you are visiting Hilbre Island please check the Wirral Council website, but as a rule of thumb, you should leave at least 3 hours before high tide. Always carry a means of calling for help and while you're out be aware of your surroundings and the tide's direction.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Regional Media Officer on [email protected] or 07977 728 315.

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Press Office [email protected] on 01202 336 789.

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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