Three people were flown to safety onboard Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue hovercraft after getting into difficulty on Berrow beach during hot weather on Thursday afternoon (June 25th).
The beach warden raised the alarm to Coastguards shortly after 2.30pm, sparking a call-out for BARB Search & Rescue and Burnham Coastguards.
BARB’s hovercraft was launched from Burnham beach and flew along the coastline to Berrow where two youngsters and an adult were helped from the mud onto the craft and flown up the beach to safety where they were given safety advice by Coastguards.
The BARB hovercraft, with two Burnham Coastguards onboard, was then tasked with investigating several further mud walkers on Brean and Berrow beaches.
A Burnham Coastguard spokesman says: “Our Coastguard Operations Centre tasked us to reports of a number of people trying to reach the water with inflatables in tow.”
“In just under 30ºC heat two of our mud rescue technicians donned full mud rescue PPE including a mud suit, boots, a personal flotation device, helmets, face protection, gloves and special mud walking boots and boarded the hovercraft with our colleagues at BARB Search & Rescue.”
“Together, they performed a sweep of the tide line along Brean and Berrow Beach while the vehicles from our team and Weston-Super-Mare Coastguard performed a drive of the beach to see if we could spot any persons who had been in the mud. But there was no sign.”
“Despite this, we instructed our mud techs and the BARB crew to continue along the tide line and advise those who were trying to reach the water that they needed to return to safety.”
“Once this was completed we all gathered back at the BARB launching area on Burnham Beach where we were asked by the Beach Warden to give some safety advice to a group who had entered the water by the lower lighthouse which we did before returning to our station to wash our equipment down and more importantly get our mud techs out of their hot and heavy suits and get them some much-needed water.”
“It can be hard on the team in this weather having to wear heavy protective equipment so it’s important to look after the welfare of those in the middle of it.”
“This job rumbled on for a fair amount of time but it’s important to keep everyone safe and we are thankful that there are still lots of community-minded people calling 999 and asking for the Coastguards when needed. It’s the right thing to do and could save a life.”
Later in the day, at 7.30pm, the Burnham Coastguard team was called to a group of people on the end of Burnham-On-Sea jetty.
“Three of our team members donned lifejackets and carried throwlines down to the jetty and issued those milling around it some safety advice about the dangers and what causes it.”