Six walkers rescued from the rising tide by teams on island

A group of walkers trying to cross the Pilgrims’ Way footpath across the sands at Holy Island had to be rescued after getting trapped by the rising tide.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 1st August 2019, 16:48 pm
The tide comes in over the causeway at Holy Island.

Coastguard teams and an RNLI lifeboat were sent out to save the six people after a 999 call was made shortly after noon on Tuesday.

By the time they reached them the water was up to their chests.

But working together, the teams were able to get all of the group safely to shore.

This incident happened in the same week as the RNLI launched a range of products – including posters, coffee cup wraps, coasters and bags – that warn of the dangers of getting trapped on the causeway and highlight its Holy Island safety messages, with links to tide times.

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A Seahouses RNLI spokesman said: “Seahouses Inshore Lifeboat was launched and made best speed to the walkers’ location.

“On arrival of the lifeboat, some difficulty was experienced when trying to reach the casualties’ location due to sand banks and shallow areas of water.

“The Holy Island Coastguard Rescue Team managed to rescue two of the group, while another was helped ashore by one of the lifeboat crew.

“The remaining three were brought ashore by the lifeboat.

“A Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Prestwick also attended.

“As they had been immersed in cold water for over an hour, there was concern about hypothermia. The helicopter crew offered to take two to hospital as a precaution, but they declined, preferring to stay with their friends.”

He added: “Walkers are advised not to attempt to walk across the Pilgrims’ Way after low water. The incoming tide can quickly surround and cut off anyone on that path way across the sands.”

HM Coastguard said that three Coastguard Rescue Teams from Holy Island, Seahouses and Berwick were sent and the Search and Rescue helicopter was launched from Prestwick.

The Holy Island team used a technical rescue method called a ‘snatch rescue’ to help get the walkers safely to shore.