Weston Coastguard warn people to steer clear of mud after busy day
PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 August 2018
Weston Coastguard has called on people to avoid the temptation to trek through the mud flats to the sea as it sees its number of call-outs almost triple.
The service has reminded locals and holidaymakers to steer clear of the mud after they were called out five times in one day last week.
The area has been blessed with blue skies and sunshine for more than six weeks which has seen more people visiting the resort.
The HM Coastguard Rescue Team has been inundated with call-outs to the seafront, with 35 mud-related calls since the start of May, 23 more than the same period last year.
The ‘sharp increase’ has meant the team has been out seven hours at a time for some shouts.
A coastguard spokesman said: “The most common risks are dehydration and exhaustion while trying to wade through the soft ground but in all cases there is a risk from the incoming tide.”
Weston’s tide has become infamous for coming in at speeds of 30mph and the coastguard and RNLI have often had to rescue people who have been cut off by the incoming sea.
The spokesman added: “When the person tries to pull their legs free they create a vacuum underneath their feet and around the leg which prevents escape and further movement can make the situation worse.”
On July 26, the crew was called out five times to rescues, including twice to two people stuck in the mud at Knightstone and people in Sand Bay.
The team worked with BARB Search & Rescue to get about 20 people who were out by the tideline back to safety.
The coastguard spokesman said the team spends around three to four hours cleaning kit after each mud-related call-out.
They added: “The length of each call-out varies dependant on the factors associated with the rescue such as the distance from the shore, the type of call, the environment and the number of casualties.
“We advise (people) do not enter the mud flats as there are many factors which are out of human control such as the tide, weather conditions and different depths and thickness of mud. In addition to this we ask to consider how your actions could influence other people, in particular young children.”
If you see anyone in danger, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.