Dinghy full of kids swept to sea as beachgoers ignore warnings

A group of children in a dinghy were almost swept out to sea on a day when rescuers were called five times in just four hours.

People are continuing to ignore official warnings about flocking to local beaches during the good weather and how dangerous it can be.

Throughout Thursday, the lifeboat team at New Brighton and Wirral Coastguard responded to multiple incidents that could have been avoided.

The most worry was when volunteers had to help a boat full of kids out of harm’s way after they drifted too far into the sea.

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A spokesperson for the RLNI New Brighton said: “RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat called out to five incidents within four hours.

“New Brighton crew were deployed five times in four hours along New Brighton coast to persons trapped on sandbanks and a dingy in trouble.”

The first incident happened shortly before midday when an off duty lifeboat volunteer sighted two people walking along North Bank, New Brighton.

The people appeared to be unaware of the incoming tide.

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As a result the New Brighton Lifeboat was deployed by UK Coastguard. New Brighton Lifeboat launched immediately and located the persons where the crew deployed from the lifeboat and walked them back to the safety of the shore.

RLNI New Brighton attending calls on the Wirral Coast

Around 45 minutes later, at 12.30pm, a lifeboat crew were deployed to a report of a dinghy apparently in trouble near to the clown roundabout, New Brighton, however on arriving at scene it appeared to be a false call with good intent as the apparent dinghy turned out to be some discarded birthday balloons.

At 1.30pm, as the crew headed home they were diverted by UK Coastguard to a report of children in difficulty near to the clown roundabout, New Brighton on a dingy in danger of being swept out to sea due to the tide and the wind direction/conditions.

The lifeboat arrived at scene and were able to direct the children and the dingy back to the safety of the shore.

These were the same children the lifeboat crew had spoken to earlier in the day and warned of the dangers of the stretch of water they were currently in.

At 3.10pm the volunteer crew again responded to the sound of the pagers and assembled at the boathouse in readiness to launch to a police led incident at the Pier Head in Liverpool.

After a short time the crew received a message that they were no longer required and were stood down.

Ian Thornton, Lifeboat Operations Manager, New Brighton Lifeboat, said: ‘I would like to personally thank the dedication and professionalism of the volunteer crew in each of these incidents.

“It is lucky the people trapped on the sandbanks in two of the incidents were spotted as the tide was on its way in.

“Our crew deployed from the Lifeboat on one occasion and guided them back to safety.

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“On both occasions the people involved were given guidance on how to check tide times in the local area.

“The children that were on the dinghy didn’t heed the initial advice of the crew and were lucky not to be swept further out to sea.

“Over the bank holiday weekend we have had numerous calls of a similar nature and urge anyone using the coast to check local tide times for the area they are visiting.”

“Even in these difficult and unprecedented times our RNLI volunteers are still on duty 24/7 and ready to deploy at the sound of the pager.”