A family of four were involved in a terrifying rescue drama off Fleetwood beach last night (Wednesday) when they were caught out by a treacherous tide.
Fleetwood Coastguards and Lifeboat had to act quickly when the group were cut off by a rising tide and were just minutes away from being swept out by fast-moving water.
The mother, her partner and two children, said to be of primary school age, had been enjoying a stroll on the beach, halfway out to Wyre Light lighthouse, when the tide streamed in behind them and quickly cut them off.
Their cries were heard by a member of the public, who immediately alerted the emergency services just after 7.30pm.
The family, from Fleetwood, were picked by Fleetwood’s inshore lifeboat just as the water was rising above their waste, with the adults having to lift the children up to protect them.
They were all lifted into the boat at back to Fleetwood Lifeboat Station, where they were able to shower and warm up.
Fleetwood Coastguards were also rapidly mobilised on foot and were able to locate the family and offer support.
Capt David Eccles, operations manager of Fleetwood Lifeboat, said; “If we had not been able to reach them on time, we would probably be talking about four casualties.
“Once the water reaches a certain height, people lose their footing and are separated from each other and swept away.
“The family had been enjoying a beach walk on what was a lovely evening and of course it would have seemed perfectly safe.
“But I cannot emphasise enough the danger of Fleetwood’s tide and would urge people to be careful not to go too far out.
“There are gullies which fill up with deep water and quickly become unpassable on foot.
“I would like to thank the members of the public who raised the alarm.
“If they had not been there, we could have had a tragedy on our hands.”
The inshore boat crew comprised helmsman Darren Randles and Jonathan Davies and Mat Haines.
Capt Eccles added: “It was a very successful operation and once again demonstrated excellent teamwork between the RNLI and HM Coastguard.