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Bank Holiday call out for rescue crews to reports of ‘around 20 people’ cut off by tide

On Bank Holiday Monday Flamborough RNLI lifeboat was launched following reports that ‘around 20 people’ had been cut off by the rising tide.

The alarm was raised at 12pm on 28th August by neighbouring vendors who called the station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) Dave Freeman informing him that their CCTV had picked up ‘about 20 people’ walking on the rocks on the West side of the North Landing.

After trying to access the footage, Dave contacted the Coastguard to inform them of the report. By 12.04pm the Coastguard had paged the crew requesting immediate launch to 21 people cut off.

Dave Freeman LOM said: ‘By 12.14pm the B820 Atlantic 85 Elizabeth Jane Palmer was launched and proceeded round to North Landing. On arrival at the scene, they located 17 people cut off buy the tide in varying ages from about 18 months-old to young teenagers and adults.

‘The tide was coming in, the sea was waist deep at the base of the cliffs, and the sea was crashing up against the base.’

The crew of four had been chosen based on their experience spanning which spanned decades and consisted of three helms.

He added: ‘They guided the casualties to walk along ledges, showing them where to step because they didn’t know where was safe. It was easier than trying to get them back in the boat.

‘Had it been any longer, the tide would have been even higher and they wouldn’t have got round the side of the cliff and would have had to board the lifeboat.’

Flamborough Head

From there the crew guided them to safety and to waiting Coastguard units. The whole operation took just over 20 minutes from arriving on the scene.

Nick Ayers, Regional Water Safety Lead North and East said: ‘If you are going on a coastal walk, always check the tide times before leaving and if you’re not sure head to our website to find out more information. Always take a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch and call 999 and ask for the coastguard if you get into trouble.’

To avoid getting cut off by the tide remember:

  • Before you head out, make sure it’s safe by checking tide tables.
  • While you’re out, be aware of your surroundings and the tide’s direction. A beach can seem like a vast playground but the tide can come in surprisingly quickly, the depth of water can change through the course of the day by up to 10 metres, blocking off routes to safety.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back and take a phone with you. If you need help phone the Coastguard on 999. You can find out more information about tides in your area through tide tables, apps, weather news or local websites. You can also get local tidal information from the Harbour Master, tourist information centre and some seaside retail outlets.

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