Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

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January 21, 2006
Hovercraft flies young West Midlands couple to safety at Brean

A young couple walking in treacherous mud almost a mile from the shore have been flown to safety by Burnham's hovercraft.

The Spirit Of Lelaina craft and its crew were training at Brean on Saturday afternoon (January 21st) when a member of the public spotted the pair walking across the mud towards the sea at low tide.

The hovercraft crew was alerted and, as a precautionary measure, flew out to bring Jack Winsley and Laura Menzies from Droitwich in the West Midlands back to the safety of the beach.

"Given their location and the dangerous mud around them, they were lucky not to have got into difficulties," said hovercraft pilot Pete Emery.

"Both were a bit embarrassed and didn't appear to know they were taking any risks."

"They wanted to continue walking out across the mud towards the sea even though it was low tide at the time."

The news comes less than a month after the hovercraft and Coastguards rescued an Evesham dog walker at Brean when he became stuck up to his waist in mud.

During its first 18 months of operation, the Burnham hovercraft has helped and rescued more than 85 people along the Somerset coastline. The craft is named after five year-old Lelaina Hall, who lost her life in the mud at Berrow in 2002.

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