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August 22, 2004
Nationwide publicity for Burnham Hovercraft After Mud Rescue

Burnham-On-Sea's hovercraft team were in the glare of publicity on Thursday August 19th and Friday August 20th after helping to avert tragedy near Brean Down when a father and his eight year old son were plucked out of the dangerous mud near the low water line.

The story went national after the same pair were rescued just 24 hours later in a similar incident in Weston-super-Mare. More here.

Alan Miller, BARB hovercraft chairman, was interviewed about the rescueAlan Miller, BARB hovercraft chairman, was interviewed about the rescue by several newspapers and TV channels including the BBC's Points West programme and ITV West (pictured).

Radio stations who carried live interviews with BARB staff included Vibe, Orchard FM, BBC Somerset Sound and Star FM.

The Western Daily Press carried a two page feature about the story and also flagged it up on its front page on Saturday August 21, while the Birmingham Post carried the story on its front page for two days running - the second of which is pictured below. It also published photographs of the father and son and a photo of the Weston rescue.

National media organisations picked up on the story too. A live interview featuring Alan Miller was aired on BBC News 24 on Friday August 20 shortly before 19:00, and the Daily Express also ran an article on the story in its August 21 edition.

Links to national newspaper stories about this launch:
Daily Mirror: 'Dingy Dope' (Aug 21, 2004)
The Guardian: 'Man and son rescued twice' (Aug 20, 2004)

The Birmingham Post front-page story is reproduced below:

Father's behaviour in mud is 'a disgrace'

A Walsall father who was rescued along with his eight-year-old son from dangerous mud flats for the second time in 24 hours was branded "completely irresponsible" last night.

Mark Caddick, aged 30, and his son Matthew were first rescued after becoming wedged in the mud at Brean Down beach in North Somerset just after 2.30pm on Thursday.

They became stuck in the same treacherous mud flats where five-year-old Lelaina Hall, from Worcester, drowned two years ago.

The Caddicks were pulled from the mud in the nick of time and brought to safety by the Burnham hovercraft, inshore lifeboat and coastguards.

Coastguards gave Mr Caddick a lengthy warning about the dangers of the area and removed his inflatable from him.

But less than 24 hours later, father and son were spotted in a dinghy drifting out to sea again, in strong winds, in nearby Weston-super-Mare.

A member of the public spotted them in difficulty and alerted the coastguard. Weston's inshore lifeboat and coastguard rescue team came to their aid just before 1pm yesterday

Speaking after the rescue yesterday, Mr Caddick said: "I don't think I had a lucky escape at all really, I enjoyed it. I like a bit of a challenge and my son does so we just went for it. I don't feel scared at all really, not one little bit."

Also see the Official BARB Web site home page




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