Two kayakers were rescued by Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue hovercraft and Coastguards at Brean beach on Friday afternoon (August 7th).
The beach warden raised the alarm at 2.45pm after spotting a man and woman in mud about half a mile from the top of the beach on the falling tide.
Burnham’s BARB Seach & Rescue hovercraft was called to the scene by Coastguards and it flew out to the man and woman, who are on holiday in the area from Doncaster.
They were taken onboard the hovercraft by the Coastguard Mud Rescue Team and flown up the beach to safety where they were checked over.
The couple, Melanie and Paul Johnson, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We’d been kayaking on the falling tide and it was our first trip here to Brean.”
“The beach warden spotted us in the mud and advised us to stay where we were to avoid getting into difficulty. He was great and the hovercraft and Coastguards were very quickly on scene to help us get back to safety.”
A Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards spokesman added: “A couple who were taking advantage of the lush hot weather and enjoying some sea kayaking were caught unawares by the outgoing tide.”
“They had decided to hit the beach, get some sun and enjoy some time on the water without realising that the tide goes out quite a distance and leaves exposed mud flats that are difficult to cross, especially when dragging a kayak.”
“The beach warden spotting their predicament used his loud hailer to tell them to get into their kayak to prevent sinking into the mud and then contacted our Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) and reported the incident.”
“With a large amount of challenging mud to cross, BARB’s hovercraft was also tasked. Once both teams were on scene two of our mud rescue technicians were kitted up by other team members and then boarded the hovercraft where they were then whizzed across the mud by our friends from BARB Search & Rescue to the stranded couple.”
“Once at their location our two mud techs hopped out of the hovercraft taking their stretchers with them and decided that two shuttle runs were needed. Firstly to transport the couple to the rest of the team and team members from our flank team of
Weston-Super-Mare Coastguard for welfare checks, then to bring the two mud techs and the kayak back to shore.”
“In between this happening, a second call came in for concerns for two children in the mud but they were found to be OK and so we continued on with this tasking. This is a prime example of how each beach is different and the importance of beach safety.”
“It was assumed that this stretch of coast is like a lot of others where the tide only recedes a few feet but a quick Internet search of the beach you are going to will give you lots of useful information to help you plan your day and stay safe.”
“Tide times are written on the board as you enter and the beach wardens are available should you need any advice. With the tide going out so far and so fast you can see why it catches so many visitors – and even a few locals – out.”
“Thankfully they were only a bit muddy and tired as they tried to drag the kayak across the mud to avoid staying in the water and being forced further out. This was a good call from the beach warden and good co-working with our colleagues from BARB on what has been a hot day to be in full mud rescue kits. Stay safe and as always if you have an emergency along the coast dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”