Author Archives: Liverpool Echo

Terrified couple rescued from tide by off-duty lifeguard

Pair became stranded in the Dee Estuary when exceptionally high tide quickly surged past their waists



A terrified Liverpool couple trapped in a fast rising tide were rescued thanks to the quick-thinking of an off-duty lifeguard.

The two adults became stranded in the Dee Estuary yesterday as water from an exceptionally high tide quickly surged past their waists.

They had been attempting to walk across to Hilbre Island but “misjudged” the incoming spring tide, HM Coastguard said.

An off-duty lifeguard from Wirral beach patrol spotted the couple in trouble and raised the alarm in a 999 call, five minutes before the couple themselves made an emergency call just before midday.

A spokeswoman for the Coastguard today said that the lifeguard’s actions “probably saved their lives”.

She said: “He gave us a good five minutes head start before the call came in from the casualties – it was vital.”

After making the call, the vigilant lifeguard had considered swimming out to save the couple after becoming increasingly worried.

But he was relieved to see the West Kirby RNLI lifeboat speeding across the estuary to pluck them from the water, near to Middle Eye Island.

The survivors were then taken to the West Kirby slipway. An ambulance was requested but not required.

RNLI lifeboat operations manager Dave Henshaw today warned visitors to Hilbre Island to check the tide times before setting off.

He said: “The tide can rise faster than walking speed, particularly on the spring tides that occur on a twice monthly cycle.

“Furthermore, the incoming tide doesn’t fill the beach in a uniform manner and it will cut off people from the shore and in yesterday’s case, from the Islands too, leaving the people on the beach at the mercy of the incoming sea.”

Youngsters rescued after becoming stranded on sandbank off Merseyside beach


The 12 and 13-year-olds had gone walking off the Thurstaston coastline near Sally’s Cottage when they became trapped by the incoming tide on a sandbank in the Dee Estuary.

They were spotted by walkers on a cliff near Wirral Country Park, who alerted Liverpool Coastguard at around 1pm yesterday.  West Kirby lifeboat crews were called to the scene and were helped in the search by a fishing vessel who called in to report the boys’ location.

 Other members of the lifeboat team headed up to a viewpoint at the top of Caldy hill, and directed the team in the boat to the boys’ position.  When the lifeboat pulled up to the pair and took them aboard they had been trying to make their way along the sandbank in an attempt to find a way back to the shore – but were in fact heading towards a deep gulley.


David Henshaw, lifeguard operations manager, said “They were down to the last few hundred yards of sand and in another 15 minutes it would have gone completely.  They were well and truly cut off and if they had carried on walking towards the shore they would reached a deep and fast moving gulley. Thankfully they were picked up before then and reunited with their parents on the beach by around 2.10pm.  They were not from the area and we would advise anyone who doesn’t know the area or the times of the tides to check with Wirral coastal rangers or the coastguard to avoid getting into this situation.”