Burnham-On-Sea Police and Coastguards were called out to help several missing children reported to be in the sea on the town’s beach on Sunday afternoon (September 23rd).
Crews from BARB Search & Rescue and the RNLI were also put on standby at 12.40pm as the incident unfolded on the southern end of Burnham-On-Sea beach opposite Quantock Court, as poctired here.
“We were tasked to multiple missing children possibly in the water,” said a Coastguard spokesman. “With the tide being low they would have a trek through mud to reach it. Children are a lot lighter than adults which means they can traverse the mud a little easier before sinking, unlike heavier adults.”
“This means they can travel further into the mud and have more chance of getting into difficulty.”
“The water temperature now is only 16 degrees today which means you are very likely to suffer from cold water shock.”
“They were spotted along the South beach between the Coastguard station and the Yacht club covered in mud, before disappearing from view.”
“This beach has been a lot softer this year with lots of mud, coated with a thin crust of sand, which is easy to break through. At low tide this beach has a set of ledges that drop down quite a way. Once you go beyond this you disappear from view which is a worrying thing as you can’t see if they have entered the water or fallen.”
“With this being the case and with no chances being taken, BARB and Burnham Lifeboats were put on standby in case they were needed.”
“Once we arrived on station, information was updated that the children had returned to the safety of the beach and were all accounted for. We went along and met up with the group arriving alongside the Police.”
“Although they were very muddy and a bit cold they were in good health. We gave them a check over for any signs of hypothermia and after some safety advice for the children and parents were sent on their way to get in the warm.”
“They were shocked that the beach was so soft under foot and felt that they had learned a valuable lesson for the future.”
“The public did the right thing in dialing 999 and asking for the Coastguard immediately. If you have concerns for anyone along the coast always call.”
If you think you could be a Coastguard, are 18+, and have a full driver’s licence and live local to the station the Coastguard is currently seeking new volunteers. To register your interest and for more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org