Rescue – Thursday 25 July 2019

The RNLI lifeboats from Redcar have been called to three emergencies involving toy inflatables between Wednesday 24 July and Thursday 25 July 2019.

The first alarm was raised just before 5pm on Wednesday when two children aged 16 and six, were carried out to sea near Saltburn pier. The Redcar lifeboat was launched and was proceeding to the scene when it was found that the children had been brought back to shore by other rescuers.

Then on Thursday two separate emergencies arose within the space of 10 minutes. The larger lifeboat from Redcar was called at 5.30pm to go to Saltburn to rescue a person drifiting out to sea on an inflatable. The lifeboat was stood down on the way after kayakers had managed to rescue the person.

Then a few minutes after the first alarm was raised, another 999 call was received by the coastguard from the parents of two children who were being blown out to sea on an inflatable from the beach at Coatham. Redcar’s smaller inshore lifeboat was launched and found the children, having drifted approximately a mile due to the combined effects of the wind and tide.

They were brought back to the shore and handed back to their parents.

Dave Cocks, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar RNLI, said: ‘The extremely warm weather makes the coast an attractive place to be, but these incidents really do highlight the hidden dangers of the sea.

‘Any one of the three emergencies could have so easily ending in tragedy. Most of the people involved were young children, and it shows the need for parents to look after them to avoid terrible situations like this happening.’

Dave Cocks added: ‘With a little bit of thought, everyone can enjoy our coastline. Blow-up toys and airbeds are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out. If you do use them at the beach, then please ensure children are closely supervised.’

The RNLI offers more advice on the use of inflatables. Always keep near the shore and only use the beach between the red and yellow beach flags which show the lifeguards are in attendance.

Don’t take inflatables out in big waves and never use them when you sea the orange windsock is flying, as this indicates offshore winds which will blow inflatables further out to sea
And finally, if you do get into difficulty, then stay with your inflatable as it will keep you above the water.