Hoylake RNLI urges beachgoers to respect the water as UK braces for heatwave

The volunteer lifeboat crew from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) at Hoylake are urging people planning on heading to the Merseyside coast to stay safe and understand the risks around UK coastal waters during this week’s hot weather.

The call comes after a busy evening for the Hoylake RNLI crew on Monday 11 July when their hovercraft was tasked at 7:31pm to a dog walker who was getting cut off by the incoming tide between Leasowe Lighthouse and Barber’s Folly at Meols.

The UK Coastguard also reported that two children were stuck in mud by the River Alt at Blundellsands on the Sefton coast.

The Hoylake RNLI hovercraft Hurley Spirit and her volunteer crew launched and soon arrived at the dog walker’s location, bringing her on board with her large dog. Fortunately both the walker and her dog were safe and well and were taken to safety at Dovepoint in Meols.

The hot weather had brought large numbers of people to the beaches on the north Wirral coast. The Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team, which was also tasked alongside New Brighton RNLI lifeboat, reported seeing two people in the water back by Barber’s Folly and asked the Hoylake Hovercraft to investigate.

The coastguard confirmed that the children stuck in mud by the River Alt had now been rescued, so the hovercraft headed to Barber’s Folly, where the two people were found to be swimming safely. The hovercraft crew confirmed this with the coastguard, before being asked to check on two more people at the water’s edge who were potentially at risk from the flooding tide. The RNLI hovercraft crew met the people and advised them about the tide and their best route to safety. Satisfied that the people could make their own way ashore, the hovercraft was stood down and returned to station.

Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen said, “With temperatures set to soar this week, we’re expecting many people to head to the coast.

“But it’s so important to take care and respect the water. We’d encourage everyone to visit one of our lifeguarded beaches and to always check tides times, weather forecasts and local safety signage. In an emergency at the coast, always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.’

‘These incidents show just some of the dangers around our coast to watch out for – from fast flooding tides to treacherous patches of mud. It may be tempting to cool off in the water too, but summer sea temperatures can be as low as 12°C – cold enough to cause cold water shock.

“If you get into trouble in the water, don’t panic and float to live – lean back and use your arms and legs to float until you can control your breathing, before making your next move.”

For more lifesaving beach safety tips from the RNLI visit RNLI.org/BeachSafety

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach at RNLI.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

Image: Hoylake RNLI

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