Nineteen callouts in one week for Southend RNLI

Southend on Sea volunteer lifeboat crews were paged 19 times in the past week as the weather improved and shorelines became busy.

The incidents included people cut off by the tide and injured, missing swimmers, broken down vessels in difficulties and inflatables drifting offshore.

Six incidents were to people cut off on the tidal mudflats that surround the local area. The team says that this is a regular occurence as people walk out on the mudflats and then get cut off by the tide or injure their feet on sharp shells, inhibiting their ability to get back to shore before the fast-moving tide comes in.

“With the temperatures improving in recent weeks, we’re seeing an increase in people taking to the local shoreline,” says Graham Slack, volunteer lifeboat operations manager. “With Southend’s unique tidal range and mudflats there is always a draw to walk out. We would always advise against walking out on the local mudflats. However if you do venture out, please check tide times carefully, ensure you have appropriate footwear on, carry a fully-charged mobile phone and let someone know where you’re going.”

During 2020, Southend RNLI had its busiest year in recent history, with 156 launches and 152 people assisted.

Meanwhile, HM Coastguard says it’s responded to 3,375 reports of incidents around the coast in May, including a car in the sea at Trevaunance Cove. Image courtesy of St Agnes Coastguard Rescue Team.

RNLI image courtesy of Jack Lidster-Woolf.

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