Woman in ‘very real danger’

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A woman was rescued by lifeboat crews off Blackpool beach – just minutes before she would have been completely submerged by the incoming tide.

Crews from Blackpool’s Lifeboat Station were called to the incident shortly after 11am yesterday, after the woman, in her late 40s, was found waist deep in the sea opposite the Pleasure Beach.

Shaun Wright, RNLI helmsman said: “She was cut off by the tide on a sand bank. People do not realise the sea can come round the side of a sand bank and envelope you.

“The casualty was in very real danger and the outcome of this incident could have been very different if we hadn’t reached her so quickly.

“Within five minutes she would have been at least shoulder deep in the water.”

The woman had been walking on the beach before she found herself cut off by the incoming tide.

By the time the RNLI volunteers arrived on scene she had no means of reaching safety without assistance.

Helmsman Wright added: “The reason she was cut-off was because of a gully near the sea wall.

“If she had stepped off the sand bank, she would certainly have been in the water up to her shoulders. When we found her she was already in serious trouble.”

The crewman said he hoped the incident would serve as a warning to holidaymakers and residents ahead of a busy bank holiday weekend.

He added: “It’s advisory to pay heed to your surroundings. People see a lovely sandy beach – but people need to be mindful and educated about the sea.”

A spokesman for Liverpool coastguard said: “We received a 999 call saying a woman was in difficulty off South Beach.

“We relayed this information to the Lytham St Annes Coastguard and Blackpool lifeboat teams. She was rescued by a lifeboat and brought ashore. She did not require any medical assistance.”