At this time of year, people flock to our beaches and for the RNLI, Avon Fire and Rescue Service and other Rescue organisations this means numerous callouts to casualties in the water or people stuck in the mud.
A hovercraft is a vital asset to any rescue organisation, the craft will operate on large areas of sand or tidal mud flats and in shallow water where normal boats cannot operate and where the surface is too soft to support a land vehicle. Many people have been rescued by hovercraft after not realising how dangerous the incoming tide can be.
In April this year 15 people became stranded in the mud in Clevedon, North Somerset. A lifeboat, two helicopters, the coastguard and a hovercraft were called to rescue the people in difficulty, thankfully everyone was rescued unharmed. This summer there have been many hovercraft launches to people stranded in the mud and shallow waters, mainly in areas with quick tidal changes such as the Wirral coastline and Western-Super-Mare.
Advice is to take care, Respect The Water, do not venture too far and to look up the local tide times. Learn more about the risks and how to stay safe by visiting the RNLI's #RespectTheWater campaign.
Image courtesy of RNLI