Saturday, 23 June 2012


Two people were rescued by helicopter from Splash Point near Seaford Head in East Sussex this afternoon after becoming cut off by the tide in an area inaccessible to either the RNLI lifeboat or the Coastguard Water Rescue team.

A member of the public contacted Solent Coastguard at 11.50 am reporting that they could see what they thought was two children at the end of the esplanade at Seaford, who were waving and shouting for help with the tide coming in around them.  Solent Coastguard sent the Newhaven Coastguard Rescue Team to the scene and requested the launch of the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat.  The lifeboat arrived on scene at 12.15 pm but unfortunately the sea conditions were too rough for them to safely access the beach where the two people were stranded.  They also assessed the conditions and concluded that it would be unsafe for a Coastguard team to attempt access to the area on foot. As a consequence, and having  consulted with the Air Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) at Kinloss, Solent Coastguard scrambled the Coastguard helicopter.  The Newhaven Coastguard rescue team arrived on scene at 12.45 and assisted in preparing a landing site for the helicopter on the golf course above the cliffs.  The two adults, aged 25 and 26, were airlifted to the golf course unharmed with no medical attention required, and given safety advice by Coastguard officers.

Solent Coastguard Watch Officer Liz Hanson said:

“The two people involved in this incident were local to Slough but visiting the coast for the day when they became cut off by the tide.  They were not aware of the nature of the tides and, being originally from Lithuania, they were also not aware of the emergency telephone numbers, so they were lucky they were spotted by members of the public who were able to raise the alarm.  We always advise members of the public to check the tide times before setting out on a coastal walk, and if they do get into difficulty, to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”