Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB’s rescue hovercrafts were called out on Monday (June 8th) to reports of a person calling for help near the lower lighthouse.

The teams conducted a search of the coastline after spotting an object in the water that required closer inspection.

A Burnham Coastguard spokesman said: “As the team got ready in the station we gave a quick visual scan of the bay and identified two objects that needed closer investigation.”

“We headed north along the beach to the Lower Lighthouse, stopping at regular intervals to try and get a better view of the objects in the water. The haze of the heat can often obscure items or make them seem different to what they are.”

“With this in mind we decided that a closer look was deemed necessary and asked our Coastguard Operations Centre in Milford Haven to task BARB to help us investigate further.”

“While two mud rescue technicians were kitted up in mud suits, personal flotation devices and mudders (specialist mud walking boots) other members of the team carried out a foot search along the footpaths through the dunes to see if there was anyone there and if they could hear any of the calls for help.”

“The two hovercrafts arrived and our mud techs were soon onboard and heading out across the bumpy sticky mud avoiding random deep gullies that are created by the tide and change each time.”

“On arrival, the object that we had spotted turned out to be a sofa, this brings the term ‘sofa surfing’ to a whole new level! With all items that we spotted checked and found not to be anyone in difficulty, we decided that this was a false alarm with good intent.”

“There was a group of youngsters playing in the sand dunes and their innocent playing may have been mistaken for someone in difficulty.”

“It’s better to check these types of thing as it could’ve been a person in need of help and we are always happy to find all is well without needing our intervention. If you do have concerns for anyone safety while along the coast, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

A BARB spokesman added: “BARB’s volunteer crewmembers were called out at 4.38pm by HM Coastguard to search the tideline near Burnham’s low lighthouse after a report of ‘cries for help’ being heard.”

“Our hovercrafts were launched from Burnham beach and flew along the sands to the lighthouse where several mud techs from Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team were taken onboard.”
“Our pilots then conducted a full search of the tideline and were also tasked to investigate several objects seen at the water’s edge – one of which turned out to be a sofa! – and no sign of anyone in difficulty was found.”
“After conducting a thorough search, our hovercrafts were recovered to the town’s beach and taken back to our seafront station for a full clean and decontamination. Essential repairs and maintenance work were then carried out by BARB’s dedicated crew, who finally headed home at 10pm after showing amazing team work once again.”
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