Big crowds turned out to watch displays and demonstrations by dozens of emergency services from across the West Country on Burnham-On-Sea’s seafront on Sunday (August 9th).

A crowd of up to 5,000 people turned out for the annual rescue services day for displays of hovercrafts, lifeboats, ambulances, fire engines and even a light aircraft.

Burnham’s MP James Heappey opened the event, which is now in its 12th year and is also known as Burnham’s ESCAPE Day (the Emergency Services Community Awareness and Promotion Event).

The day started with a parade of rescue vehicles from Berrow to Burnham along the beach and town centre, pictured above.

BARB’s hovercrafts performed a flying demonstration on the beach, followed by a mud rescue display by Burnham Coastguards.

There were also displays in the sea by the RNLI’s lifeguards and lifeboat crews.

Over 15 different emergency groups took part, including BARB, the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Somerset Fire and Rescue and the ambulance service.

Vehicles and teams from each service were on hand during the day, giving spectators a unique chance to see their work up-close.

Others groups involved included the Police mounted section (pictured here with the Mayor and Mayoress), Somerset 4×4 Response, Marine Life Rescue, SCC Civil Contingencies Team, the Rotary Club, Burnham Moose, Burnham Lions and Burnham Radio Club.

The final demonstration of the day – a fly-past of microlights by Skywatch – was unfortunately cancelled due to poor visibility at the launch site. This year’s event was held on the same day as the Stert Island Sea Swim.

Event organiser Roger Flower from BARB told “We are really happy with how the day went – there was a great atmosphere and it was superb to see some big crowds lining the seafront. We thank those organisations who came along and all those who dug deep and supported the charities with donations.”

The sum of £82.54 was raised by BARB from a street collection during the day, while the charity’s team of fundraisers also raised hundreds more by organising stalls and other activities during the day.

Mayor Cllr Michael Clarke said: “It was great to see a fantastic turnout and a great community spirit on show. I am full of admiration for those who work in and support our rescue services.”

Skywatch displayed a light aeroplane on the seafront

Burnham Sailing Club members launching their new gig rowing club

The crowds were down on last year, but still numbered around 5,000

The RNLI lifeguards carrying out their display with the boat crew

A net recovery was carried out by the Burnham lifeboat crew

Wessex 4×4 showed off their vehicles and resources at the event

The Maritime Volunteer Service was signing up new recruits

BARB’s Mike Lowe and Graham Hallsworth with Caroline Hall, mother of the late Lelaina Hall, who inspired the name of BARB’s hovercraft. Her sister Elizabeth, pictured here, is behind the name of BARB’s Light of Elizabeth hovercraft

The police recruits showing some of their riot gear

The young recruits during Sunday’s event came from across Somerset

These costumed characters added a dash of colour to the seafront

This Burnham fire engine attracted plenty of interest from families

Burnham MP James Heappey with some of the Burnham RNLI crew

The ‘Community Resilience In Somerset Project’ was promoted

Burnham Coastguards before their seafront display on the lawns

Opening the event were BARB President Neville Jones, MP James Heappey, BARB Chairman Mark Newman and organiser Roger Flower

One of the many stands helped to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis

BBC Somerset’s Emma Britton was in the crowd watching the displays

The Marine Life Rescue team were fundraising and giving out leaflets

Burnham Moose Lodge invited attendees to roll a dice to win!

Burnham Lions Club were also fundraising with these cuddly lions

Burnham Coastguards carrying out a mud rescue demonstration

The Monarchs Gym Club members gave a display of their award-winning dancing

Model hovercrafts went on show on the BARB hovercraft station

Elsa and Anna from Frozen were among the VIP guests at the event!

The RNLI were busy fundraising and selling their merchandise

BARB’s team were also busy fundraising and selling their merchandise

Burnham Radio Club demonstrated their expertise during the day