Fleetwood RNLI warn bathers about dangerous inflatables as part of their beach safety at Fleetwood campaign.
As they launched the in-shore lifeboat for training, they didn’t expect to be involved in a rescue, right outside the lifeboat station!
The in-shore lifeboat had left the station five minutes earlier and was heading towards the Wyre Light. Coxswain Tony Cowell saw a young boy leaping into the river, with an inflatable.
The boy was quickly taken by the current and his friend’s mother jumped into the river to rescue him. The situation was deteriorating quickly, so Tony quickly called the in-shore lifeboat back to the station. The young boy and mother were picked up and swiftly returned to shore. They were able to return home shortly afterwards, cold, wet and very frightened.
Fleetwood RNLI Coxswain Tony Cowell said ‘They were very lucky. Nobody should enter the water near the Fleetwood lifeboat station. The current runs at its fastest there and you’ll find yourself in difficulties very quickly.
‘In addition, using a small inflatable toy makes the situation even more dangerous. Children and their parents think they’re safer with these toys, but they get caught by both the current and the wind and can soon take you out of your depth. We urge parents not to use any inflatables in the sea.’
Tony also advised people visiting the beaches at Fleetwood to limit their bathing to the area near the Marine Hall. There, members from Beach Patrol keep a close eye on visitors.
Local groups, schools and organisations can make contact Fleetwood RNLI station and request a visit by the Community Safety Officer. Help to share the message and keep children safe in water.
More about Beach Safety in Fleetwood
The seas of the Fylde Coast can change in a flash, from calm and tranquil to fierce. They will always win and you should never underestimate the power of the sea.
Every year thousands of people get into real, life-threatening difficulty all around our coastline. They may be washed out to sea, pulled under by a strong rip current, or simply get into the water when conditions are dangerous.
The huge flat sandy beaches of of Fleetwood are a delight to enjoy. But take care when using the sands.
Keep to dry land
Heading round towards Ferry beach, the Dock area and the mouth of the River Wyre you’re best advised to keep to dry land.
This area is particularly prone to the formation of sandbanks. The tide retreats a long way in the river mouth, and comes in exceptionally quickly. Conditions can be very dangerous. The water moves exceptionally quickly here, with strong currents.
The sea carves deep channels in the sand, which shift and move with each tide, particularly during strong winds. When the tide comes back in, the water rushes through the lower lying channels and creates islands which easily cut unsuspecting people off and leave them in danger. The bank can often be too long to outrun, which makes for a wade through what can be deep and very fast moving water.
On an incoming tide always watch what is happening behind you and be aware of your exit route back to the top reaches of beach.
Wave dodging is another very dangerous occupation. Please don’t do it. When the tide is high with the wind against it, it blows the spray and waves up above the sea defences. There are points along this coastline, especially along the Blackpool stretches, where people have been washed into the sea and drowned. NEVER underestimate it – and always keep your dogs on a lead and away from the edge.
Beach Safety Guidance
At the entrance to each bathing beach you’ll find safety notices like this one. Make sure you read them before using the beach, and observe the guidance that they give.
Plus, these tips are provided by the RNLI to keep you safe on any UK beach:
- Wherever possible, always swim at a lifeguarded beach. Go to www.goodbeachguide.co.uk to search for listings throughout the UK and ROI.
- Always read and obey the safety signs, usually found at the entrance to the beach. These will help you avoid potential hazards on the beach and identify the safest areas for swimming.
- When on a lifeguarded beach, find the red and yellow flags and always swim or bodyboard between them. This area is patrolled by lifeguards.
- Never swim alone.
- If you get into trouble stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
- If you see someone in difficulty, never attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, or, if you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and HM Coastguard (HMCG) are the government organisations responsible for preventing loss of life, continuously improving maritime safety, and protecting the marine environment in the sea around the UK.
HM Coastguard Search and Rescue team are based out of Fleetwood (in the same building as the RNLI). They cover the area from the Cartford Arms on the River Wyre through to Blackpool.
Another Coastguard team is based in Lytham (in the big car park after the sand dunes on Clifton Drive). They look after Blackpool to the Tickled Trout on the River Ribble. The Coastguard is the initial contact when you ring 999. They attend both beach and sea incidents.
At Rossall Point you’ll find Rossall Tower, standing over the beach. It’s home to the National Coastwatch Institution. These are volunteers who watch over the waters of Fleetwood and look for ships, small boats and individuals in trouble on the sea and beaches.
While you’re here…
Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Fleetwood website for more of the latest updates.
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