An evening beach walk quickly turned into a sticky situation for a family at Crosby last night (29 May 2022).
It was 9pm and the light was fading fast. The four were stuck in the soft sand and mud plus the tide was swirling in quickly, adding to an already dangerous situation. Luckily they knew to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
The Crosby Coastguard Rescue Team was close by, on their way home from attending an event, so they were on the scene within just three minutes. By this time a nearby member of the public had seen the difficulties and gone in to help – but they too became stuck.
The Southport Coastguard Rescue Team, the RNLI lifeboat from New Brighton and the hovercraft from Hoylake were also quickly on their way, together with the North West Ambulance Service. The search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon was also ready to attend. With a fast-rising tide, speed was of the essence said Senior Coastal Operations Officer Mike Buratti.
“It was a very fast moving situation and rapidly deteriorating. The combination of fast rising tides over the mud flats mean that it’s very easy to get caught out. It was also getting dark and the water is still chilly at this time of year so the outcome could have been very different,” he said.
The coastguard rescue team from Crosby brought two people safely back to shore using water rescue techniques. The other three were picked up by the lifeboat and then transferred to the hovercraft so they could be brought back to the beach and passed into the care of the ambulance.
“The casualties were knee-deep in water when we got to them but the quick intervention of all the rescue teams working together meant that we were able to get them to safety. So thankfully it was a good outcome,” he added.
Duty Commander Piers Stanbury said, “They did exactly the right thing by dialling 999 for the coastguard. Her quick thinking meant we were able to get rescue teams out to them really quickly and everyone was brought back to shore within the hour.
“If you do become stuck in the mud our advice is to stay calm, try and spread your weight as much as possible and call 999 for the coastguard. Before you set out, make sure you have a way of calling for help and remember to check the local tide times”
If you see anyone in difficulties around the coast, please don’t risk your own safety too. Call 999, ask for the Coastguard and we’ll send the experts to help 24/7.
Image: Tim Hill