Morecambe lifeboat crew aid man caught by incoming tide
At approximately 2pm on Sunday 09 June 2019, Morecambe’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew were engaged in a routine hovercraft training exercise when they were tasked by HM Coastguard to assist local coastguards.
The call for assistance was in response to a report that someone was stranded on a sandbank, cut off by the tide, between Grange over Sands and Arnside.
The inshore rescue hovercraft proceeded to the area and began to conduct a search for the reported casualty, while local coastguard team members continued to search from the shore. Eventually the hovercraft crew identified a man walking across the sands, toward Far Arnside, near Holme Island. In response to the volunteers’ questions, the man informed them that he had just completed the Cross Bay Walk and intended to walk back across the sands to his car in Arnside; rather than return on the train. He stated that he did not believe he was in any danger but, concerned for his safety (as the tide was beginning to flood and the Kent channel was filling rapidly) the hovercraft crew persuaded the man to let them transport him to Arnside in the hovercraft. The RNLI volunteers then returned to station.
An RNLI spokesperson said ‘We strongly advise people not to go out on the sands alone. The tide comes in rapidly and the numerous channels quickly fill. You can be cut off from the shore before you realise it. Furthermore, quicksand is an ever-present and moving hazard. We ask that people Respect the Water and check the time and height of tide before venturing out and ensure that they have a fully charged mobile phone, or some other means of calling for assistance, in case they get into difficulty.’
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 over 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.