Hoylake and West Kirby RNLI were requested to launch by the UK Coastguard on Sunday 11 September to assist two people who were cut off by the tide on Middle Eye in the Dee Estuary and were feeling the effects of the cold.
The casualties had been located by RNLI Lifeguards Wirral, who had been carrying out routine checks on the islands around the high tide and reported their condition to the Coastguard.
Hoylake RNLI hovercraft Hurley Spirit and her volunteer crew launched and headed to the casualties’ location at the north end of Middle Eye. Given the local terrain, West Kirby RNLI’s D class IRB lifeboat Seahorse was also tasked to support the hovercraft.
Once both vessels were on scene, the two casualties were brought on board the Hoylake Hovercraft and flown ashore safely to Dee Lane at West Kirby. The West Kirby Lifeboat also transported the RNLI Lifeguard back ashore, where the casualties had been passed to the care other Lifeguards and RNLI crew. With the casualties requiring no further assistance, the hovercraft and lifeboat were stood down and returned to their stations.
Hoylake RNLI volunteer hovercraft commander Alistair Knowles said, “As we head into autumn and the weather becomes more cold and wet, we advise anyone heading to the coast to always check the weather forecast and dress for the conditions.
“It can be safe to stay on the Hilbre Islands over the high tide, but always check the tide times and heights, keep away from cliffs and the water’s edge, and know your route safely out and back ashore. If you or someone else gets into difficulty at the coast, always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
If you are planning a trip to Hilbre Island, see Wirral Council’s website for important advice on ensuring your visit is safe and enjoyable at https://www.wirral.gov.uk/leisure-parks-and-events/parks-and-open-spaces/hilbre-islands-local-nature-reserve
Image: West Kirby RNLI