Teen girl swept out to sea in ‘serious condition’

The Morecambe RNLI hovercraft

The Morecambe RNLI hovercraft

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A WIGAN teenager is in a serious condition in hospital after she was swept out to sea by a tide in Morecambe Bay.

The 16-year-old girl and her friend became stranded on a sand bank and cut off by the tide about a mile out to sea.

The coastguard was called to the emergency at around 5pm on Monday August 10, between Ocean Edge and Middleton Sands at North Quay in Heysham.

Lifeguards rescued the Wigan teen while her 14-year-old friend, who is from Bolton, managed to swim to safety.

Both girls were taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to be checked over where the 16-year-old remains in a serious condition with severe hypothermia.

The 14-year-old is said to be shaken and suffered superficial injuries.

It is believed the pair were walking along the coast when they were cut off by the incoming tide and left stranded on a sand bank, before being swept towards Heysham Harbour.

The dangers of Morecambe Bay’s tide have been highlighted on several occasions in recent days.

On Saturday, August 8, a couple with a child had to be rescued after getting cut off by the tide in Silverdale.

The Morecambe RNLI rescue hovercraft launched to three separate incidents in succession at around 3.40pm, initially being called to assist Coastguard teams following reports of five people cut off by the incoming tide near Grange-over-Sands.

As the volunteer team approached the search area they were then diverted by a request from the Arnside Coastguard team to assist the couple with a child, identified as being in more immediate danger near to Jenny Brown’s Point.

The crew located the three people and took them on board the hovercraft, returning them to shore near Silverdale.

The crew was then immediately tasked to go to the assistance of a man, who was also cut off near Silverdale. The people reported in the original callout were not in any danger and made their own way ashore.

PS 3212 Mark Finch of Lancaster Police said: “This is a timely reminder to anyone enjoying the school holidays and the good weather to remember the dangers of the tide and of open water and to enjoy them safety and responsibly.”

Morecambe RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Jackson, said: “The warm weather makes it inviting for people to walk out on to the sands, but they need to be aware of the incoming tide and its dangers if they are to stay safe. We would advise everyone to remain close to the shore and not be tempted to cross any of the many channels that exist in the Bay.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has issued a warning to tourists to be aware of tide times before they head out on walks.

Bill Downing, senior maritime operations officer for the UK Coastguard, said: “Many beaches have tide times at their entrance or you can check times online.

“If you do get cut off by the tide, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard or if you do not have a phone shout for help.”

A spokesman for Morecambe Coastguard said: “Morecambe Coastguard was called to a report of two teens in the water by Heysham Harbour.

“Upon our arrival both teens were out of the water.

“It transpired that they had gone for a walk on the beach and were eventually cut off by the tide before being swept towards the harbour.

“One had managed to swim ashore while the other was recovered by a boat from the harbour.

“Both teens were seen to by paramedics, and we stood down.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “The coastguard were in attendance, and one other person had already been located and rescued.

“As firefighters arrived the missing person was rescued by port agency staff. Firefighters assisted ambulance paramedics in conveying the two casualties to the ambulance.”