Published: July 22, 2009
Hovercraft rescues man from incoming tide on mudflats at Brean

A man trapped in waist-deep mud on Brean beach with a fast-incoming tide around him was rescued on Wednesday afternoon (July 22nd) after a race against time.

Burnham-On-Sea's Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft was called to help the man at 3.30pm, after a beach warden spotted him almost half a mile from the shore.

The hovercraft, run by Burnham-based charity BARB, took two members of Burnham Coastguard's Mud Rescue Team out to the man, who was aged in his 30s.

He was found in several feet of sea water - as ringed in the photo here - and the Coastguards managed to carry him onboard the hovercraft.

Coastguard Officer Dave Welland said: "The man had got into difficulty while walking out across the mud and by the time we reached him, he was already in three feet of sea water due to the incoming tide. He was very grateful to see us arrive."

"The hovercraft was essential in this rescue and, given the state of the tide, its prompt arrival probably saved the life of this man."

BARB Chairman Mark Newman said: "The man was in a very serious situation and we had a race against time on our hands."

"BARB has been involved in many rescues on this beach over the years, but very few have been as serious as this. Once again, this incident shows the importance of having rescue hovercrafts along this stretch of Somerset coastline."

Two lifeboats from Burnham-On-Sea and two teams of Coastguards from Weston and Burnham were also called to the scene. The man was treated by ambulance crews and police were also called to the incident, which was approximately two miles south of Brean Down.

Click here for online video coverage of this incident

RELATED LINKS:

Burnham-On-Sea Hovercraft Web site



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