Big crowds of over 5,000 people lined Burnham-On-Sea’s seafront on Sunday (July 28th) for the town’s annual rescue services day.

The event began with an official opening performed by Burnham’s MP, Tessa Munt, Mayor Martin Cox and BARB President Neville Jones.

Over 30 emergency services from across the West Country held displays and demonstrations in front of an estimated crowd of 5,000 people on Burnham’s South Esplanade.

Vehicles, crews and supporters from each service were on hand to provide safety advice, while life-saving demonstrations took place in the sea and on the beach.

The displays featured hovercrafts, lifeguards, lifeboats, Coastguards and a parade of 4×4 trucks, but the fly-past by an RAF helicopter was cancelled due to another incident elsewhere and the microlights also pulled out due to strong winds.

During the afternoon, Burnham Coastguards were presented with Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Awards. They were handed over by Zac Stone and Dan Tucker, who were rescued from cliffs at Uphill earlier this year.

Among the groups taking part were BARB, Burnham RNLI, HM Coastguard, Avon and Somerset Police, the fire brigade, and the ambulance service.

Others groups involved include Burnham lifeguards, St John Ambulance, Skywatch, Freewheeler Blood bikes, Somerset 4×4 Response, Marine Life Rescue, SCC Road Safety team, NHS Ambulance Service, Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue, Exmore Search and Rescue, British Red Cross, SCC Civil Contingencies Team, The Environment Agency, International Emergency Action, The Rotary Club of Burnham, Burnham Lions Club, Weston Radio Club, the Air Water Land Model Group, Vintage AA Motorbike and Side Cars and the WRVS.

Event organiser Roger Flower from BARB, which oversees the event, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are delighted with the crowd numbers, which were boosted by holding the Stert Island Swim on the same day. We saw over 5,000 spectators and were delighted that the weather held for the whole day. We thank all those organisations and supporters who came along.”