Published: 12:20, 28 July 2017
Quick-thinking RNLI lifeguards rescued three teenagers cut off by the tide, sparking an appeal by the charity for beachgoers to seek advice about tide times.
Lifeguards Katie Fidock and Taine Carrick, who were patrolling Stone Bay in Broadstairs, raised the alarm at 1.30pm yesterday after realising three people they had spotted walking across the sands towards Joss Bay had been cut off by the tide and were surrounded by water.
Katie launched her rescue board from Stone Bay to reach the walkers and was soon joined by Taine who launched from Viking Bay.
But with the tide quickly rising and coming in fast, the lifeguards realised they were running out of time to get the three people to safety.
The Ramsgate inshore lifeboat was quickly launched to assist them and the two lifeguards remained with the two teenage boys and one girl to make sure they were safe before the lifeboat arrived.
Taine and Katie then ferried the teenagers across to the inshore lifeboat on their rescue boards.
The RNLI is now urging visitors to beaches to always find out about local tides and weather conditions.
Area lifesaving manager James Uren said: "This could so easily have ended in tragedy if our lifeguards had not spotted the danger.
"This is a regular cut-off point when we get a high tide in the afternoon.
"People set off from Stone Bay trying to make it around the headland to Joss Bay and suddenly find that the tide is coming in much faster and the water is much deeper than they realise."
He explained that the situation is made even more dangerous by the sea defences at Joss Bay which can act as a further barrier when they round the headland."
James continued: "It’s a well- known pinch point.
"The walkers who were trying to get around to Joss Bay were fully clothed and had no intention of going into the water.
"It’s a fitting reminder that of the 190 people who drown in UK and Irish waters each year, more than half of them never intended to get wet."
RNLI community safety partner Guy Addington said a few safety tips could help prevent future incidents.
He said: "We have signage at each of our life-guarded beaches clearly highlighting the times of high tides and it’s important for people to realise that, particularly in this area, the water comes in very fast and people can find themselves cut off sometimes hours before the water reaches its peak."
"Our lifeguards receive world-class training which also includes detailed knowledge of local conditions, including tides and specific dangers and we’d urge anyone thinking of taking a walk across the sands to seek advice from them before setting off."
Katie and Taine are two of more than 1,300 RNLI lifeguards who are patrolling 240 beaches across the UK and Channel Islands this summer.
Katie, 18, is on her second season with the RNLI but for Taine, 16, it was his first rescue in what is his first season with the charity.
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