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Pair rescued from Birnbeck Island

PUBLISHED: 07:38 19 June 2017

Birnbeck Pier.

Birnbeck Pier.

Archant

Coastguard and RNLI crews were called to Birnbeck Island in Weston-super-Mare to rescue two people cut off by the tide.

The teams were paged yesterday (Sunday) shortly before 10.15am.

The pair had tried to access the pier but found themselves in difficulty due to the quick-moving tide.

The incident occurred just days after Weston RNLI urged people not to try to access Birnbeck Island, which is privately-owned.

The RNLI used to be based at the pier but has since set up temporary station near Marine Lake due to the pier’s fragility.

A RNLI spokesman said: “Since we left the island we have had many occasions to emergency launch our lifeboats because people have made their way across the shingle bank thinking to explore the damaged island.

“Sometimes they have managed to get back to safety before the tide completely overwhelms them but on several occasions they have been plucked from the raging waters just in time.

“This year has already seen several major call-outs because of this problem. On one occasion the man was up to his neck in water by the time we found him. The tides rush through under the columns of the old pier and no one can stand their force. He had minutes to live.

“We always advise keeping well away from the island, even if at the time the water seems still and the way seems peaceful.”

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