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July 17, 2006
Burnham lifeboat and hovercraft called to five boys on Stert Island

Burnham-On-Sea's D-Class lifeboat and hovercraft were called out at 7.10pm on Monday evening (July 17th) after seafront walkers alerted Coastguards when they saw to their amazement five children swimming from Burnham to Stert Island.

Five Hungarian boys, aged 12-15, who were staying at Burnham Holiday Village decided to swim across the bay at low tide to reach Stert Island, as pictured here, unaware of the risks of strong currents in the estuary.

Coastguards imediately called on the RNLI and BARB's rescue hovercraft to help - but it was left to the town's lifeboat to bring the lads back to the safety of the shore and then transport them up the beach on Kay’s Cart. They were taken across the mud for a debriefing by the Burnham Coastguards at the town jetty.

Burnham's hovercraft was ready to take Burnham Coastguard's Mud Rescue Team to the scene if the boys had got into difficulty in the Stert mud.

Edit Harshanyi, one of the parents looking after the five boys, told Burnham-On-Sea.com she had been unaware of any risks.

She added that the children are on a 10-day school trip from Debrecen in Hungary and are staying in Somerset for several days during a nationwide tour of the country.

Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang said: "They could not speak English and were completely unaware of any danger. If they had started swimming back by themselves, the tide would have been stronger and they might not have got back."


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