2:57pm Monday 4th March 2013
By Craig Manning
THE RNLI is warning of the perils of not checking tide times before walking to Hilbre Island after ten people and two dogs were rescued on Sunday afternoon.
West Kirby Inshore lifeboat Seahorse was launched at the request of Coastguard following a call from a group of adults and children.
Its volunteer crew reached the stranded group of two adults, three children and their dog at the south end of Little Eye within ten minutes. They were ushered onto the lifeboat and proceeded shoreward.
On its return trip to shore, a further group of people consisting of two adults and two young boys were sighted in distress on Middle Eye and the lifeboat diverted to rescue them.
The lifeboat returned towards the shore with the two groups of people, a further person - a woman with her dog - was seen to be waving to the lifeboat in a frantic manner.
As it was full to capacity, the crew returned to rescue the woman and her dog after delivering the four adults and five children to safety at West Kirby following a swift crew change.
An RNLI spokesman said: "All of the ten people rescued were delivered to safety in good condition although some were cold and wet, after trying to wade between the islands in the flooding tide.
"Although the weather appeared fine with a clear sunny sky, the conditions belied the chilling breeze resulting in a wind chill factor of just over freezing point that could have resulted in serious consequences if the people including five young children had been left stranded on the islands cold, wet and frightened until the tide had ebbed some hours later.
"Tidal information is available at the notice board at the north end of the marine lake, in the local daily press and on various sites on the internet.
"If you are unable to understand how the tides work or how to calculate the tides from the local information, HM Coastguard Liverpool are always pleased to provide advice on 0151 931 3341.
"However a rule of thumb you can walk to the islands in safety, weather permitting, three hours after high water and you should leave the islands three hours before high water using the tidal information and the directional advice posted on the information board at the north end of the marine lake.
"When planning your visit to the islands always consider emergency rations (there is no fresh water on the islands), the weather aNd the ability of the weakest member of the group to ensure an enjoyable experience on the islands."
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