Burnham-On-Sea’s marine rescue services were called out last night (Tuesday) amid concerns that a person could be difficulty in the sea.
“It comes after a walker reported possibly hearing someone in distress near the water’s edge on the incoming tide,” Burnham Coastguard Station Officer Dave Welland told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
“A member of the public had dialled 999 and asked for the Coastguards after being approached by someone who had just come from the beach saying there was someone entering the water.”
“An extensive search took place, with Coastguards searching the beach and water’s edge, the BARB crews searching the sea wall steps and beach with torchlights, and both Burnham lifeboats scouring the sea water.”
“Given the cold outside temperature, combined with the wind chill, it was imperative that we got as many resources as possible to that location as quickly as possible.”
Several parachute flares were also fired into the night sky by Coastguards to illuminate the water and help the teams search the sea water for any sighting of a person in difficulty, as pictured below.
“As the Coastguard team, we were tasked immediately and with the possibility of the person being in the water, the RNLI were tasked to search the water around the Lower Lighthouse area where the person was said to be and then widened once that was finished.”
“Our team hurried to the nearest footpath access points to carry out a fast search of the paths and then the beach, as this part of the beach is inaccessible by vehicle at high tide each search team was dropped off at the nearest points.”
“Avon and Somerset Police were also asked to assist as they have units nearby and it is a time-critical incident.”
“BARB were also tasked and their crews conducted a shoreline search from the town slipway up to Allandale Road where the tide eventually meets a small outcrop of land and cuts off. Our search teams headed both North and South along the beach from the Lower Lighthouse so there was no area left unsearched.”
“With no one being found and the first informant not sticking around either, there was a possibility that whoever it was left the scene, the lifeboats carried out a search covering the drift direction should anyone be in the water but nothing was found. We do urge anyone if they are reporting an incident if you can stay nearby then please do so.”
Dave added: “Fortunately, it was a call with good intent. After a full search, where no trace was found of anyone in difficulty, the crews were stood down.”
“The first informant did the right thing in raising the alarm – we also urge people to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they have concern.”
A Burnham-On-Sea RNLI spokesman added: “Both our Atlantic 75 and D class lifeboats were quickly brought to the beach and launched. As it was the time of high water, the sea state at launch was lumpy, but comparatively smooth after launch, with good visibility.”
“The volunteer crews searched diligently along the coast with no success, until being stood down by Milford Haven Coastguard control at 9.05pm. Both boats were recovered and taken back to the lifeboat station for wash-down by the boat and shore crews, then re-fuelled ready for the next launch.”