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Wirral lifeboat crew rescues stranded walkers
A LIFEBOAT crew from Wirral went to the aid of two walkers stranded by the incoming tide in Formby last night.
RNLI New Brighton's hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit was launched following a call from Liverpool Coastguard that two people were stranded on a sandbank several hundred yards from the Formby shore and the tide was coming in.
Soon after the hovercraft was on its way New Brighton's Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-837 Charles Dibdin was launched as well.
The hovercraft was first on the scene plus the shallow water in the area at the time limited how close the lifeboat could get to the walkers so it remained in the area in a supporting role.
It was the second time within a week that volunteers manning New Brighton's hovercraft have been called to the area north of the River Alt on the Formby coastline to rescue stranded walkers.
Hovercraft Senior Commander Graham Lowe said: “When we reached the walkers they were up to their knees in water.
“They had heeded the calls from the Coastguard unit on shore to stay where they were as they could have ended up in deeper water.
“We took them on board the hovercraft and ferried them to the shore where a Coastguard team were awaiting them.
“They were shaken by their experience but otherwise in good shape and had got away with just wet feet.
“They were lucky, it doesn't always work out as well. People need to be aware of tide times and the inherent dangers of the area and in the case there was still a couple of hours to go before high tide.
“The hovercraft’s ability to operate on land and sea makes it an invaluable rescue craft for operations on the large areas of sand and mud banks in the Mersey and Dee.
“It is vital for people venturing on to the sands to be aware of the tide times, the speed it comes in and avoid areas of potential danger.”