Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Published: June 24, 2008
Mother and daughter rescued from mudflats by Burnham hovercraft

A mother and daughter have been flown to safety onboard one of Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercrafts after becoming stranded in an inflatable dinghy on the mudflats at Uphill, near Weston-super-Mare, on Tuesday (June 24th).

BARB, the Burnham-based charity that operates two life-saving hovercrafts, was called out by Weston Coastguards at 3pm after the pair were spotted by the operators of Weston seafront's CCTV cameras 1,000 metres from the shore.

BARB's Light Of Elizabeth hovercraft was sent to the scene and its crew flew two Weston Coastguards out to the dinghy where the mother and daughter were already showing signs of hypothermia.

"The pair were shivering from the cold and were grateful to see us arrive," said Burnham hovercraft pilot Pete Emery. "Within minutes we flew them back to the shoreline where they were taken to Weston General Hospital for treatment."

The pair, who are from the Weston area, had got into difficulty while trying to sail from Uphill to Brean Down across the fast-flowing-waters of the River Axe.

They had become stuck on the mudflats when the falling tide pulled their £5.99 dinghy downstream.

Steve Perks, BARB's Operations Manager, said the organisation was happy to help. "The Burnham hovercraft team reached the casualties in Weston less than 30 minutes after we received the call in Burnham. It was a very swift rescue."

Barry Smith of Weston Coastguards added: "We were delighted to work with BARB's hovercraft crew on another successful rescue."

BARB is a 15-year-old charity run by a team of volunteers and is funded by donations from the public.

The damaged dinghy is pictured in front of the Burnham hovercraft

The Light Of Elizabeth hovercraft flew out to the stranded pair


BBC Online coverage of this incident
Burnham-On-Sea Hovercraft Web site


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