RIBBLE ESTUARY WALKERS RISK DROWNING - WARNING

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LIFEBOAT bosses are warning people not to walk across the Ribble estuary this summer.

With the second quickest incoming tide in the UK, the Ribble poses a real danger to anyone attempting to make the trip.

Andrew Fallow, from Lytham St Annes Lifeboat, said: "People begin walking across from Southport because it looks like a clear run of sand to the Fylde.

"After about five miles, they come to the river and realise they can't cross."

The tide quickly makes for a tricky situation, with water levels sometimes rising by up to 2.3m an hour.

Mr Fallow added: "The area is so flat that once the channel fills up, the water spreads out very quickly over a wide area.

"Once it gets to a couple of inches it becomes hard work walking to safety, then it gets to knee height and people are stranded and in real trouble."

The RNLI is recommending that signs go up warning of the dangers to help reduce the number of people who get into trouble each year .

Mr Fallow said: "We save lives at sea and by preventing people getting into trouble in the first place we are doing that job, just in a different way."