‘Every second counts’ - two people rescued after being cut off by tide at Brancaster

Two people have been rescued after being cut off by the tide at Brancaster. Photo: Clifford Hicks

Two people have been rescued after being cut off by the tide at Brancaster. Photo: Clifford Hicks - Credit: Archant

Two people were rescued after being cut off by the tide at Brancaster - days after a similar operation just a few hundred yards away.

Shortly before 6pm on Saturday, the coastguard requested the launch of the Hunstanton lifeboat after receiving reports of two people cut off by the tide at Scolt Head Island.

Having found the casualties, the lifeboat took them aboard and they were taken into the care of the local coastguard team after landing on the beach.

It came a matter of days after a family - including five children - were cut off by the rising tide on the wreck sands at Brancaster in an incident deemed to be the most serious of the summer so far.

And the area they were saved from has been described as "an accident waiting to happen" by a member of the lifeboat team which saw them to safety.

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The group, thought to be a family of holidaymakers, was made up of two parents, two grandparents - including a grandmother in her 70s - and five children all aged under 11-years-old, but not thought to all be related.

They were rescued by the Hunstanton RNLI hovercraft after the UK Coastguard was alerted at 4pm to reports of people cut off by the tide.

Sheringham coastguard manager Jerry Woodley, who was first on the scene when a man became trapped in rocks at Sheringham last week, emphasised the importance of planning ahead when visiting the coast.

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"The movement of the tide is fairly obvious to locals, but it's not to visitors," said Mr Woodley, who has been with the coastguard for 36 years. "With these exposed sandbanks along our coast, the tides whistle around you and people can quickly find themselves cut off.

"If you are surrounded by the tide, the best thing to do is alert the coastguard. Some people think they can wade or swim back to shore, but you can easily be swept off your feet.

"People need to consider where they are going and what the tide is doing. Before going out look at the tide times and, if you're not sure, just ask somebody.

"If something does go wrong you must raise the alarm as soon as possible because every second really does count."

RNLI advice to holiday makers includes;

-Tidal waters have strong tidal currents, especially the approaches to the harbours.

-Check the weather and tide times.

-Read signs.

-Be aware of local hazards, i.e. sandbanks, channels, strong tidal currents.

-Carry means of calling for help.

-If you see someone in danger dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

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