A father and daughter were rescued from the sea after getting into difficulty at the end of Burnham-On-Sea jetty on Wednesday (May 20th).
Burnham Coastguards and an RNLI lifeboat were called to the jetty at 3.50pm where the duo were reported to be struggling in the water – and were ultimately saved by members of the public throwing them lines.
A Burnham Coastguard spokesman says: “This was a story of a lucky family and some amazing people who were nearby. A father and daughter had got caught in the water after attempting to wash themselves down.”
“A member of public rushed into the water and pulled the small child out and the dad was struggling to make any headway against the current and was getting pulled out by the tide.”
“More members of the public had also rushed into action, grabbing the life rings which are situated at the top of the jetty, and they managed to throw them to the man who was by now tired and losing the battle against the current.”
“With a phenomenal group effort, all persons were saved from what was a life-threatening situation.”
“The tide cuts across the jetty at a pace that easily takes anyone off their feet and into the estuary with just a few inches of water, so please whatever you do stay off the jetty and away from the water that flows across it.”
“This could’ve been a different outcome without the intervention of the public whom we thank for their actions.”
“Obviously, we always advise to stay in a safe place and not enter the water as you can quickly become a casualty yourself. In this instance, without the actions, it would have been a completely different story.”
Burnham RNLI’s lifeboat was called to the scene and an RNLI spokesman says: “The casualties were members of a visiting family, who’s young daughter had accidentally fallen in the water.”
“Her father promptly dived in and located her. Being half tide, the current was swift, and both were at extreme risk. It was a hazardous situation to be in. Neither were able to exit the water by themselves, but assistance had been rendered by other members of the public on scene, by the use of throw lines.”
“HM Coastguard had requested RNLI casualty care trained volunteers attend, in case first aid was required. Subsequently, the father and daughter, accompanied by the mother and a second daughter, attended the lifeboat station for clean up and any necessary first aid.”
Burnham RNLI Launch Authority Lyndon Baker said: “The family were very grateful for the assistance, and realised how lucky they had been.”
Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Davies added: “Our volunteer crews are ready to launch 24/7, despite these testing times. Obviously, the need to maintain safe social distancing makes this more complicated, but we have systems in place to reduce risk.”