Hoylake RNLI hovercraft, ‘Hurley Spirit’, and her volunteer crew were diverted from training on Wednesday evening when tasked at 7.21pm to reports of two people and a dog cut off by the flooding tide on Leasowe Beach.
Merseyside Police were already on scene and couldn’t reach the casualties through the rapidly filling channel. Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) were also tasked.
Already afloat north of Hilbre Island, the hovercraft immediately headed to the casualties just offshore from Leasowe Lighthouse as the tide was quickly rising.
CRT assisted the hovercraft and crew in locating the casualties from the shore.
Once located on a shrinking sandbank about 50 metres from the sea wall, the hovercraft landed on the bank with the crew quickly bringing the casualties and their dog on board.
The pair were assessed by the crew and although they required no medical treatment, they were feeling shock from their experience.
With reassurance from the RNLI crew, the hovercraft flew the casualties and their dog to the safety of the sea wall at Leasowe, where they were passed to the care of the CRT and Merseyside Police. The RNLI hovercraft and crew returned to station to be washed down, refuelled and made ready for service again.
Hoylake RNLI Deputy Second Coxswain and hovercraft commander, Andy Dodd said, “RNLI crews and the Coastguard are regularly called out to people in difficulty on this stretch of coast due to the flooding tides quickly cutting people off.
“We would advise anyone thinking of heading out across the beach to always check the tide times, weather and local safety signage. Always carry a means of calling for help and in an emergency at the coast, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Images: Hoylake RNLI