July 17, 2011
photos: Eight walkers cut off by tide rescued at Brean Down
group of eight people stranded on rocks at Brean Down by the incoming
tide were rescued last night (Saturday, July 16th) after an
operation involving Coastguards, an RAF helicopter, two RNLI lifeboats
and a BARB crew.
alarm was raised at 7.15pm when the group of five children and
three adults got into difficulty after becoming cut off by the
incoming tide 20ft up the cliff face and 250 metres from the shore
on the south side of the Down.
team of Burnham Coastguards, two Burnham lifeboats and a rescue
helicopter were called to help.
lifeboat crewman scrambled onto the rocks from one of the boats
to check they were safe, before the RAF crew winched the eight
up into the helicopter.
craft landed in a field at Brean Cove where the eight people -
six from Bristol and two from Weston - were met by their relieved
the drama did not end there because two of the group had parked
their car on the beach and this had become swamped by the incoming
tide, as pictured below.
pulled the vehicle from the beach using its tractor while crewmembers
looked after the shaken couple.
Coastguard Officer Steve Bird told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This
was another good example of the teams working very well together
to get a successful outcome."
of the eight walkers was in a life-threatening position, but their
rescue was necessary because of the falling light. The lifeboats
and helicopter did especially well considering the very gusty
wind and stormy sea conditions."
RNLI helmsman Glenn Cutter added: "The group was on the
rocks about a third of the way out. The tide was still incoming
and the waves were fairly steep, with force four winds gusting
to six at times. We landed our crew member and stood off, in line
with standard procedures, to give the helicopter safe operating
The helicopter arriving on scene to rescue the eight stranded
The incident was overseen from the shore by a team of Coastguards
Onlookers at Brean Cove hardly knew which way to look when
one of the walkers' cars that was parked on the beach became trapped
by the tide
helicopter landed in a nearby field with the eight walkers onboard
The eight walkers ran across the field to relieved family
Coastguards took the lifeboat crewman that had checked on
the safety of the walkers back out to the boat through the choppy
With the walkers rescued, attention turned to the walkers'
crewmembers discussing the situation with Coastguards
The fast-incoming tide partly submerged the Vauxhall Corsa
Once the tide had receded, the vehicle was towed from the
beach and left in the care of the owners later in the evening
Burnham Coastguard Web site
Official BARB Web site
Burnham lifeboats Web site