Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard and BARB hovercrafts were called out on Saturday afternoon (May 9th) amid concerns for two people wading through mud on Berrow beach.

Crews were called out just after 12.30pm after a couple walking on the beach spotted the duo a long distance from the shore.

A Burnham Coastguard spokesman says: “The good weather has seen a rise in people using the open spaces of the beach. While walking along the beach a couple were spotted wandering out into the distance following the tide, attempting to reach the water.”

Berrow beach call-out for hovecraft and Burnham Coastguards“While the team mustered at the station and made ready to deploy one of the team grabbed a pair of binoculars and got a visual of them confirming that they were indeed a very long way out.”

“We made our way along the beach to the SS Nornen shipwreck on Berrow Beach while our flank team from Weston-Super-Mare were en-route from the opposite direction.”

“Due to the distance, we were mindful that reaching the people would be a long process so BARB Search & Rescue’s hovercraft were also tasked so that we would be able to access the area quickly.”

Berrow beach call-out for hovecraft and Burnham Coastguards“Between the time it was reported and our arrival the people had been making their way back towards the safety of the beach and disappeared from view. After a sweep by the hovercraft, a visual sweep by the team with binoculars and talking to a few helpful members of the public we managed to ascertain that they had indeed left the beach.”

“Thank you to the people who called this incident in, there were a number of beach walkers who had seen them and were concerned about how far out they had walked especially as the beach in that area can be quite unpredictable.”

“Lucky in this instance that the terrain was firm enough to make good progress back without any help.”

A BARB spokesman added: “After a long period with no call-outs while local beaches have been mainly quiet during the lockdown, BARB’s volunteers were called out at 12.37pm today by HM Coastguard to reports of two persons stuck or struggling in mud on Berrow beach.”

“Both our hovercraft were quickly launched from Burnham beach while our crews took extra care to abide by social distancing guidelines. Once on scene, we liaised with Burnham Coastguards and carried out a search of the lower beach and tideline from the Berrow wreck southwards.”

“No-one was found in difficulty and reports came in that the two persons had later been seen safely exiting the beach. Both crafts returned to Burnham and were safely recovered and washed down ready for service.”

“This was a great example of multi-team working while adhering to the ongoing social distancing guidelines.”

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