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'We wouldn't want to do that again,' say horsewomen stranded off north Norfolk coast for several hours

PUBLISHED: 07:56 14 October 2015 | UPDATED: 07:56 14 October 2015

The horses after being led to safety from Scolt Head. Picture: RNLI

The horses after being led to safety from Scolt Head. Picture: RNLI

Archant

Unique, enigmatic and beautiful, without a doubt. But danger lurks when the tides rush in around Scolt Head Island.

Scolt Head seen from Burnham Overy Staithe. Picture: Matthew Usher.Scolt Head seen from Burnham Overy Staithe. Picture: Matthew Usher.

As three horsewomen in their late 50s discovered to their cost, it’s all too easy to get cut off as the channel between the ridge of sand and the shoreline floods.

“It was an experience we wouldn’t want to do again,” said one of the trio of friends from Leicestershire, who were on their first trip to Norfolk.

“We had checked the tide times, but we’d ridden out too far,” said the woman, who declined to be named. “One of the ladies was leaving so we thought we’d have a long ride. We were very, very grateful to the coastguard and the lifeboat.”

Today, visitors bringing their mounts on holiday were warned to heed advice and check tide times before saddling up and setting off for Scolt.

“Last night, thankfully, there was no harm done,” said Peter Rainsford, chair of the Wells Lifeboat, whose crew were called out to escort the women and their horses to safety in the early hours. “But it must have been a particularly upsetting experience for them because they were asked to stay out in that remote place in foul weather.

“If you don’t know it, you should check with someone before you ride it because it can be a trap. 
Take local advice, check when low tide is and avoid riding after low tide, so there’s no risk of riding 
when the tide’s coming in.” The crew were paged on Tuesday night after a member of the public raised the alarm. The lifeboat ferried tents, food and horse blankets out to the women, who were asked to wait until low water at 2pm yesterday, so they could cross in daylight.

But they insisted on crossing at 2am, because they did not want to make the horses wait another 12 hours, so the lifeboat crew used their tractor to light the way and guide them to safety.

Tide times for the area can be found at https://www.tidetimes.org.uk/wells-tide-times.

Have you been involved in a lifeboat rescue? Email chris.bishop@archant.co.uk

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