On Monday 4 September, the combination of fine weather, spring tides, and the number of people who headed to the coast, Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team was deployed on a safety patrol to cover the incoming tide.
Within five minutes, the team came across a large number of people in different groups cut off by the tide in Leasowe Bay.
The team immediately started clearing the banks, including assisting a number of people who had decided to wade through a waist-deep flooding gully.
The team continued to receive numerous taskings throughout the day to people in difficulty on the Wirral coastline.
This also included people caught in rip currents, people swimming in flooding gullys, stranded people picked up from Brazil Bank by Safewater Training’s instructors, missing children, people wandering into mud and further cut-off prevention.
A spokesperson for Wirral Coastguard said, “We have to say that we were disappointed to see the number of people involved in water sports who were not wearing life jackets or PFDs.”
Alarmingly, the team was called to reports of six children missing on paddle boards in Leasowe Bay.
RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Station immediately launched its Altlantic 85 inshore boat. RNLI Hoylake Lifeboat Station Hovercraft also launched in view of the number of persons missing.
The Lifeboat crew rescued the children after locating them more than 700 metres offshore. They were then transferred to the hovercraft to be flown back to their parents and awaiting Coastguard Rescue Officers on the beach to be checked over and receive some crucial safety advice.
The Wirral Coastguard spokesperson continued, “We would like to thank the New Brighton and Hoylake RNLI crews, RNLI West Kirby Lifeboat, HM Coastguard Crosby, Flint Coastguard Rescue Team, Merseyside Police for their efforts on what turned out to be one of our busiest days ever. And of course, Holyhead Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Hm Coastguard Holyhead who had an extremely busy day throughout Area 15.”
- Always, always, always wear life jackets. Don’t let your children participate in water sports without them.
- Check the tide times and plan your activities accordingly. There are free Apps available online.
- Leave inflatables at home. They are for swimming pools only.
- If you see anyone in difficulty on the coast immediately call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
- Remember the beaches are no longer Lifeguarded on weekdays for the rest of the season, and only for the next two weekends.
Image: Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team