Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards, BARB hovercrafts and RNLI lifeboats were called out on Friday afternoon (June 1st) after three children went missing on Berrow Beach.
Crews were called out at 1.45pm after the mother of the three children – two twelve-year-old boys and a four-year-old girl – raised the alarm when they had not been seen for some time.
“As the weather continues to be warm, the beach is busy with visitors during half term,” said a Coastguard spokesman. “For one family there was an anxious moment when the children became separated from their Mum.”
“They had been playing football on Berrow beach and as with all kids soon became hungry. After being given some money they set off to the burger stall just along on Brean beach.”
“As it turned out the burger stall was not on the beach today and so the three children unbeknown to Mum continued along the beach towards the National Trust cafe in search of food.”
“After a while the Mum became worried and contacted the beach wardens to see if they had seen them. Without any luck, the Police were called and they quickly requested our attendance.”
With the tide out, the Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) in Milford Haven requested the local assets of BARB Search & Rescue’s hovercrafts and Burnham RNLI lifeboats.
“We arrived on scene and gathered information including descriptions as Weston Coastguard also made their way.”
“We asked if Mum had taken any photos of the children during the day. Thankfully she had taken plenty of pictures and they proved to be invaluable.”
“Within a few minutes of our search team commencing their search they spotted the three children walking back along the beach.”
“With the up-to-date photos, the Coastguard team was able to spot them from quite a distance and guided the Police vehicle to their location.”
“After a lot of worry and tears from Mum, she was relieved to be reunited with the kids who were unaware of the worry their poor Mum had been through.”
“Lost children are very worrying for all concerned and this call out highlights the importance of taking photos of everyone when you arrive on the beach.”
“They were spotted at quite a distance by the search team only because of the accurate information they had.”
“Within minutes of arriving we along with the Police were able to reunite the family. All units were then stood down and we returned to Station to wash the truck.”
A BARB spokesman added: “BARB’s volunteers were called out by Coastguards this afternoon to assist in the search for three missing children on Berrow beach. The children had gone missing from their mother after wandering off to find a food stall. The worried mother had done the right thing in raising the alarm by contacting a beach warden.”
“BARB’s hovercraft crews were tasked with searching the shoreline to see if the children could be found, working alongside Burnham Coastguards and the RNLI Lifeboats.”
“The children were eventually found safe and well, walking along the beach after being recognised from photos taken by the mother. This was a good multi-agency search with a happy ending.”
A Burnham RNLI spokesman aded: “The Staines Whitfield, the Burnham-On-Sea Atlantic 75 lifeboat, was speedily launched and the volunteer crew prepared to initiate a shoreline search between Burnham-On-Sea and Berrow. No sooner had they reached the estimated search area than the missing children, two twelve-year-old boys and a four-year-old girl, were located on the shore by other agencies. Staines Whitfield was therefore stood down at around 2.30pm and returned to Burnham town jetty for recovery and wash down.”
“As the tide was quite low at both launch and recovery, the result was one muddy tractor plus a muddy lifeboat, which took time to clean.”
Lifeboat Helmsman Nick Prout added: “We launched quickly and were glad to offer assistance, even though we were eventually not needed.”
If you see anyone in danger or difficulty along the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguards.