lifeboats launched to help disorientated beach walker
Burnham-On-Sea's lifeboats were launched last night (Monday) amid
concern for a beach walker who had become disorientated in the
darkness at high tide.
The 41-year-old man was walking his dog along the beach towards
Burnhams lower light from Berrow when the incoming high
tide caused him to lose his bearings.
rang his wife to tell her that he wasnt certain of his whereabouts
and she dialled 999 to speak to the Coastguard.
Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard team were called, BARB Search &
Rescue's crew were put on standby, and the two Burnham RNLI lifeboats
The RNLI crew members liaised with local coastguards in a search
of Berrow beach in an attempt to locate the man, who was in contact
with the Coastguard on his mobile phone. At one point the crew
of Puffin, the Burnham D class lifeboat, set off a parachute flare
to help locate the man.
As the water started to recede with the dropping tide, the man
regained his bearings and was met by a lifeboat crewmember. The
Coastguard officers debriefed him and took him back to where he
had parked his car.
Helmsman Ashley Chappel said: "We located the man approximately
one mile north of Burnhams lower lighthouse. He was surprised
that we were searching for him, but we explained that we were
there to assist, and I waited with him until the arrival of the
Lifeboats spokesman Mike Lang added: "The man could have
been at risk, and if worried, our advice is always to dial 999
for the Coastguard. A seemingly harmless situation could escalate,
and we would rather launch needlessly than have loss of life because
someone did not call. However, it is advisable to check the tide
times when beach walking."