Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue hovercrafts have helped to rescue six people after they were seen struggling in mud on Weston beach on Sunday afternoon (July 15th).
Coastguards from Burnham-On-Sea and Weston, plus two crews from BARB Search & Rescue, were called to Uphill beach just after 3.15pm.
The beach warden had spotted the family of four adults and a child wading through waist-deep deep mud over half a mile down the beach while attempting to reach the sea at low tide.
Covered in mud, they were seen wading slowly through the mud in the hot sun with no drinking water and with the tide about to turn.
BARB’s two rescue hovercrafts flew four Coastguard mud technicans out to the scene, where the family was helped out of the mud, taken onto the crafts, and flown back to the safety of the beach.
A BARB spokesman said: “The group was given safety advice about the danger of the mud by Coastguards and checked over by paramedics before being released.”
A Coastguard spokesman added: “It was established that the group of four adults and a child were doing OK and had been enjoying a challenging walk and insisted they were in no difficulty. Although this was the case, the concerns are that they had been out in very harsh heat without any water and the exertion of walking through the mud can lead to dehydration. A little-known fact is that even in this heat you can also become cold and possibly hypothermic due to sweating from the effort of walking and then stopping and being covered in mud plus the windchill.”
As the crews were preparing to leave the scene, several further mud walkers were seen wading through mud near the Grand Pier, with the tide now incoming.
“BARB’s hovercrafts were tasked by Coastguards to fly out to them, and a young child was flown from the tideline back to the safety of the beach where her relieved parents were watching on.”
The incident follows a rescue on Saturday, where a car became stranded in the sea at Brean beach and a family and their dog got cut off on rocks by the incoming tide.
The continuing hot summer weather has led to an increase in the number of visitors heading to local beaches and has also caused a seasonal upsurge in beach incidents along the coastline. Always call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you have concerns about anyone in difficulty.