Crews from Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard and BARB Search & Rescue had a busy three-hour period yesterday (Saturday), dealing with THREE separate incidents at Brean that saw them help a family struggling in mud, rescue stranded two vehicles, and launch a search for a dog that had fallen over the steep cliffs of Brean Down.
The flurry of activity started at 3.45pm when crews were initially called out by Brean’s beach warden after a car had become stuck in mud near Brean Down.
As crews were headed to the scenes, they were diverted to a separate higher-priority incident in which a family of three people was seen struggling far out in the mud.
“The hovercraft flew the Coastguards out to speak to them, ensuring that they were OK, and not in any need of medical attention, and also to offer safety advice,” said a spokesman.
Once completed, crews continued to their original destination — a stuck vehicle further along Brean beach.
“When we arrived on scene the car had been joined by a second vehicle which had attempted to tow the first one out,” explained a BARB spokesman. “Both were within a few feet of each other and both were stuck fast in the mud.”
“The BARB crew set about getting the cars ready to be winched out, while Burnham Coastguards advised those watching to move to a safe distance to avoid any danger to them.”
“The BARB team then safely towed out the two vehicles with help, avoiding them getting swamped by the incoming tide. The relieved owners of the vehicles thanked our volunteers, and gave BARB a donation towards its work.”
But the evening was not complete – for the Coastguard team were then alerted to a new incident in which a bull terrier dog had fallen over the steep cliffs of nearby Brean Down and the owner was reported to be at risk seeking to find it.
“We arrived atop Brean Down near the Trig Point and quickly found the owner of the dog,” said a Coastguard spokesman.
“Our first concern is ensuring all persons are in a place of safety which they were. Where the dog was last seen the sides are long steep and lead to a sheer drop and is popular with the goats that roam the Down.”
“The tide was coming in at a fast rate with a fair wind behind and in no time at all we covered the base of the Down where the dog may have been.”
“As there was a possibility of it becoming a cliff rescue we requested Weston Coastguards and with the tide around the base we also requested the attendance of the Weston Lifeboat to see if they could spot anything from sea level.”
“On both counts, there was nothing found and with no other avenue of investigation, we were stood down.”
“While we made our way back to station we stopped off at the beach entrance to have a last look with some binoculars to witness the dog owner almost becoming cut-off by the tide as she searched for the dog.”
“We called the Lifeboat back to check that there were no other persons at risk and issued some safety advice about tides and what would happen if they had become cut off by the tide. We appreciate the emotion involved in losing a pet in such circumstances but putting yourself at risk is even worse.”
“These incidents can easily be avoided by keeping your dog on a lead while on high ground. We hope the little one has made it to safety so if you are in the Brean Down area and see a white Jack Russell English Bull Terrier cross then please let us know, but do not put yourself in danger if it is not in an accessible place.”
Pictured: The rescues underway at Brean on Saturday (BARB / Burnham Coastguards)