Weston Coastguard call-outs double during driest May on record

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 June 2020

Weston Coastguard. Picture: Weston Coastguard

Weston Coastguard. Picture: Weston Coastguard

Weston Coastguard

Weston Coastguard saw its call-outs double during the sunniest and driest May on record in comparison with last year.

Two people became stuck in the mud, while two others were swept away after venturing onto Birnbeck Island on May 26.Two people became stuck in the mud, while two others were swept away after venturing onto Birnbeck Island on May 26.

The Coastguard were deployed to 13 incidents over the last eight days at the end of May leading into June, ranging from multiple people being rescued from mud, being tasked to those stranded at sea and to assist police with a missing persons’ report.

Volunteer rescue officers spent more than 100 hours patrolling beaches to prevent incidents along the coast in the area, and the Coastguard is now urging people to adhere to safety advice issued by the organisation in the lead-up to the summer months.

The casualties were left in the care of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust on May 26.The casualties were left in the care of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust on May 26.

MORE: Two swept out to sea after visiting Birnbeck Island

Weston coastguard spokesman Matt Greatorex said: “May was really busy for us – I think we had 50 per cent more call-outs than last year at this time.

“The beginning of lockdown was very quiet, but, since restrictions have been relaxed slightly and people can travel and can exercise more, we have seen a massive increase in calls. On top of that, we have been going out on patrols in the local area.”

Members of Clevedon and Weston Coastguard keeping a close eye on beachgoers perilously close to the treacherous low tide mud at Sand Bay. Picture: Weston CoastguardMembers of Clevedon and Weston Coastguard keeping a close eye on beachgoers perilously close to the treacherous low tide mud at Sand Bay. Picture: Weston Coastguard

The coastguard worked with Weston RNLI, BARB Search and Rescue and Burnham hovercraft, police, fire and ambulance services during the call-outs in May and beginning of June.

Matt added: “At the moment, we have three key messages for people who want to visit the beach: be aware of the weather on the day and read the safety signs, there are lots dotted around Weston. Do not take inflatables into the sea – we have seen a lot of that recently – and if you see someone in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

The RNLI and Coastguard have also launched a campaign to urge people to follow safety advice at beaches and coasts this summer.

The advice reiterates Weston Coastguard’s plea and states people planning to take a trip to these areas should check the weather forecast and tide times and read hazard signs.

Families should also keep an eye on other members and not allow them to swim alone, not take inflatables into the ocean and, if people fall in the water, lean back, extend their arms and legs and float. In an emergency, call 999.

RNLI head of water safety Gareth Morrison said: “No-one goes to the coast to be rescued, yet the RNLI rescue thousands each year. The beach can be dangerous and people must take responsibility for themselves and family this summer.”


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