Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB’s hovercraft were called out on Thursday (November 5th) following reports of a dinghy with two people onboard stranded in mud on Stert Island.
Crews were called out just after 4pm to investigate the small boat which was spotted by several seafront walkers on the north side of the island west of St Andrew’s Church.
A spokesman says: “We sent some of the team along to the location of the first 999 reports to get a better view.”
“Once we had confirmed the reports and assessed the location of the boat, the tide conditions and the fading light, it was decided that whilst they were not exhibiting any signs of distress it was prudent to send out two of our Mud Rescue Technicians to make some face to face contact and ensure they were fine.”
“With this new plan now in action, our friends from BARB Search & Rescue were tasked by our Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) to assist us in our task of reaching them.”
“As they were arriving, our team were busy getting ready, mud techs were kitted up and ready to board the hovercraft. Without the hovercraft it would be a very long and tiring walk there and then back.”
“Once aboard the BARB hovercraft, our two Mud Techs were expertly flown across the beach and onto the mud banks opposite en-route to the dingy.”
“After some expert flying, we reached the dingy that had two fishermen who were happily waiting for the tide to come back in.”
“They had been fishing earlier in the afternoon but the tide had gone out faster than they had realised.”
“After a brief chat, it was established that they had a means of communication, plenty of provisions on board to see them through and were dressed in warm clothing for the trip, they knew when the tide was due again and planned to follow it in while finishing their fishing adventure.”
“Satisfied that they were ok, we headed back to the shore for recovery and to wash our mud techs down. This was a really good call from those who had dialled 999 and reported what they had seen to the Coastguard Control Room.”
“With the last of the sun disappearing it could have been a different story had they been in need of assistance and working in the dark increases the risk to us and our colleagues from BARB so it was important to get there while the light was still there.”