A group of eight people stranded on rocks at Brean Down by the incoming tide were rescued last night (Saturday, July 16th) after an operation involving Coastguards, an RAF helicopter, two RNLI lifeboats and a BARB crew.
The alarm was raised at 7.15pm when the group of five children and three adults got into difficulty after becoming cut off by the incoming tide 20ft up the cliff face and 250 metres from the shore on the south side of the Down.
A team of Burnham Coastguards, two Burnham lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were called to help.
A lifeboat crewman scrambled onto the rocks from one of the boats to check they were safe, before the RAF crew winched the eight up into the helicopter.
The craft landed in a field at Brean Cove where the eight people – six from Bristol and two from Weston – were met by their relieved families.
But the drama did not end there because two of the group had parked their car on the beach and this had become swamped by the incoming tide, as pictured below.
BARB pulled the vehicle from the beach using its tractor while crewmembers looked after the shaken couple.
Burnham Coastguard Officer Steve Bird told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This was another good example of the teams working very well together to get a successful outcome.”
“None of the eight walkers was in a life-threatening position, but their rescue was necessary because of the falling light. The lifeboats and helicopter did especially well considering the very gusty wind and stormy sea conditions.”
RNLI helmsman Glenn Cutter added: “The group was on the rocks about a third of the way out. The tide was still incoming and the waves were fairly steep, with force four winds gusting to six at times. We landed our crew member and stood off, in line with standard procedures, to give the helicopter safe operating room.”
The helicopter arriving on scene to rescue the eight stranded walkers
The incident was overseen from the shore by a team of Coastguards
Onlookers at Brean Cove hardly knew which way to look when one of the walkers’ cars that was parked on the beach became trapped by the tide
The helicopter landed in a nearby field with the eight walkers onboard
The eight walkers ran across the field to relieved family members
Coastguards took the lifeboat crewman that had checked on the safety of the walkers back out to the boat through the choppy waters
With the walkers rescued, attention turned to the walkers’ stranded car
BARB crewmembers discussing the situation with Coastguards
The fast-incoming tide partly submerged the Vauxhall Corsa
Once the tide had receded, the vehicle was towed from the beach and left in the care of the owners later in the evening
Burnham Coastguard Web site