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Don't let the tide decide your fate

PUBLISHED: 09:06 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:18 17 September 2019

Hunstanton RNLI's hovercraft. Picture: Matthew Usher

Hunstanton RNLI's hovercraft. Picture: Matthew Usher

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2016

Everybody knows how unpredictable the UK's waters can be... But for heaven's sake, check the tide times.

The beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne DoddsThe beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne Dodds

As a journalist covering parts of north Norfolk, it has begun to frustrate me when we receive reports that "another person has been cut off by the tide at Brancaster".

Almost every time we speak to the RNLI, they tell us the people involved "weren't aware of the dangers" or "didn't know about the tide". Something that, to me, seems ludicrous.

The incident which infuriated me most was last Saturday, September 14, when 16 people, including two babies, were rescued from Scolt Head Island.

How could parents be so careless and put not only their own lives at risk, but also those of their children?

Scolt Head IslandScolt Head Island

Our newspaper has done countless articles in regards to the powerful and unpredictable waters at Brancaster.

READ MORE: Watch the TERRIFYING moment three sisters were plucked from the sea in rising tide

We are very lucky to have services such as the RNLI and Coastguard that do everything they can to keep us safe, but the other half of the battle, common sense, is yet to be won.

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Figures from the Water Incident Database show that, in 2018, a total of 585 people lost their lives drowning in our waters - 585 too many.

READ MORE: People discouraged from visiting shipwreck after Brancaster rescue

I completely understand people wanting to see areas of natural beauty especially along the Norfolk coast.

I am from Merseyside, and we have a similar island which people like to explore - Hilbre Island. I headed there on a school trip when I was about 13 years old.

Ahead of the walk I remember the hour-long safety talk we had with teachers regarding checking tide times, making sure we take the safest route and keeping an eye on the water at all times.

Our coastline is beautiful, but its waters deserve tremndous respect.

Know the risks. Read the signs. Check the tide times.

Don't let the water decide how your 'nice day out to the beach' ends.

For more information on how to stay safe visit: https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/tides

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