This is the moment a woman was plucked from the sea by lifeboat volunteers in a “lucky escape” after she was cut off by the incoming tide.
RNLI volunteer crews were scrambled at 7.50pm on Tuesday after the coastguard received a number of 999 calls about a walker stranded on a sandbank opposite Uncle Tom’s Cabin, North Shore.
I would thank all of the members of the public and others who called the sandbank when they saw her trapped
The woman had been cut off by the incoming tide which was coming in “rapidly”, crews said.
Both of the charity’s D-class lifeboats were launched and made their way to the scene, where the sandbank had disappeared completely and the trapped woman was struggling to keep her head above water.
The stranded woman was tiring rapidly as she tried to swim to safety and was also suffering from the effects of cold and shock.
The woman was taken on board the lifeboat and provided emergency first aid before being taken to hospital for further treatment.
Lifeboat helmsman David Warburton said the crew arrived ‘in the nick of time.
He added: “I would thank all of the members of the public and others who called the sandbank when they saw her trapped.
“They have saved this woman’s life by doing the right thing and calling the Coastguard which got the ball rolling with us.
“When we got there she was out of her depth, with clothes that were heavy in water.
Jonathon Horrocks, Blackpool RNLI volunteer crew member, added: “The lady we rescued had a very lucky escape, by the time we reached her she was totally exhausted and was in very real danger of drowning.
“It’s important to be vigilant when you are on the beach, make sure that you always have a safe route to shore and keep checking behind you to make sure that the tide is not coming in around you.”
Lifeboat crew warn visitors of beach dangers – even in gentle seas
Lifeboat helmsman David Warburton said: “Normally we get called out to this area for different reasons –when the seas are rough and we get very large waves.
“But this was different.
“It was more to do with the speed that the tide came in.
“There is a large sandbank in the area and for anyone on it, the tide comes in around it very quickly, much quicker than people realise.
“Often when we get a call of this nature we get to people and they are up to their knees in the water.
“But this happened so quickly; we launched immediately and when we arrived, we got there just in the nick of time for the lady.
“She was out of her depth.
“People need to be aware just how quickly the water can move around that bank.”