Coastguard warns beach-goers of ‘unique dangers’ ahead of weekend

PUBLISHED: 10:44 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:44 03 July 2020

Tony Garbutt, senior coastguard covering North Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Tony Garbutt, senior coastguard covering North Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury


Visitors to one of Norfolk’s most popular coastal spots are being warned of the dangers of getting cut off by the tide, ahead of this weekend.

The number of incidents of people getting stranded in Scolt Head Island at Brancaster in north Norfolk has increased since lockdown restrictions were eased.

The RNLI has already used a warning to beach-goers, particularly targeted at the number of people requiring rescue after being cut off by the tide.

And the HM Coastguard has now joined those calls for people to be aware of the dangers.

Last month the coastguard was called out to rescue 14 people cut off by the tide at Scolt Head Island and they were called out 30 times to the area in just two days the previous month.

Visitors to the coast are being urged to make a note of tide times and Tony Garbutt, senior coastguard covering North Norfolk, said: “We put out that safety message every day.

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“There are enough signs out there and we have done a lot of work with the National Trust to make that place [Scolt Head Island] as safe as possible.

“But people still tend to get themselves into danger there. We will have coastguard patrols out there this weekend to protect people visiting the site.

“We are a service there to help people who find themselves in danger. People are human beings and inquisitive by nature and they will still walk out there regardless of the warnings, but hopefully nobody will come into danger.”

MORE: RNLI warning ahead of weekend reopening after spike in Norfolk call-outs

Earlier this week, the RNLI issued a safety warning to coastal visitors following a spike in call-outs.

During May and June, the charity was called to seven separate incidents in Norfolk, involving 62 people cut off by the rising tide.

Lifeguards will return to four more beaches in Norfolk this weekend as government lockdown restrictions on the tourism and hospitality industries are eased.

Nick Ayers, RNLI water safety lead for the region, said: “Norfolk’s beaches are some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the country. But they can bring unique dangers, with sand bars and fast-flowing channels appearing and disappearing on the tide.”

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