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Sunderland RNLI Rescue - Family of Six (plus 1 dog) cut off by the tide - (c) Sunderland MCA Coastguard

Sunderland’s Two RNLI Lifeboats Rescue Family of six and their dog

Lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station scrambled into action shortly before half past two this afternoon (Monday, 9th August 2010) to assist a family of six who had become cut off by the rising tide at Ryhope, Sunderland.

Coastguard Officers based at Humber Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre requested the immediate launch of both of the charity’s inshore lifeboats (‘Martin Harvey’ and ‘Helen & Ian Tytler’) after they had received a ‘999’ emergency telephone call from one of the parents in the group stating that her family (2 adults, 3 young children, 1 teenager and their pet dog (Lhasa Apso)) were stranded on the beach below 60ft cliffs surrounded by the rising tide.

At the same time, the crew of a passing fishing vessel noticed the family and notified the coastguard of their predicament. The vessel agreed to standby in the area to keep a visual watch on the family until the rescue teams arrived.

The two inshore lifeboats under the command of Anthony Jobling, Ian Rowan and crewed by another five RNLI volunteers launched within 10 minutes and made best speed to the scene of the incident.

A shore-based MCA Coastguard Rescue Team from Sunderland Coastguard Station was also tasked to attend the incident, in case it was necessary to evacuate the family up the cliff using rope rescue equipment.

Paul Nicholson, Senior Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said “Due to the location of the incident and the size of the group, it was decided that our D Class Inshore Lifeboat would pick the family up and transfer them from the beach to the Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat in deeper water.”

On arrival the smaller D Class Inshore Lifeboat went to the shoreline to meet the family. After fitting each of the family with lifejackets, they were transferred a couple at a time to the larger Atlantic 85 lifeboat which was standing by in deeper water.

Once safely onboard the Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat the family (from Grangetown, Sunderland) was transferred to Sunderland Marina where they were assisted ashore by Coastguards and RNLI Shore Crew members.

Paul added, “We would like to thank the skipper of the fishing boat for making the initial call and agreeing to standby the family until we arrived at the scene. After realising they were in difficulty the family took the correct action by dialling 999 and asking for the Coastguard. The RNLI advises that anyone taking part in coastal walking or other coastal activities to check the times of the tide to help ensure that people do not become trapped”.


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