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'Around 170 people die around the coast every year, don't be one of them'

PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 September 2019

The beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne Dodds

The beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne Dodds

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The RNLI is warning people of the dangers of walking near the sea after they rescued 21 people cut off by the tide in just two days.

Scolt Head IslandScolt Head Island

On Friday, September 13 two people were rescued from the rising tide at The Wreck Sands, Brancaster, with a similar incident occurring at Scolt Head Island the next day involving 16 people, including two babies.

Another incident on Saturday saw a family-of-three left "up to their waists in water" and in need of rescue from Wells Harbour.

Wells RNLI said: "More people are drowned out walking than are killed in swimming or sailing incidents, be aware and respect the water.

"Around 170 people die around the coasts of Britain and Ireland every year, don't be one of them."

Wells quayside shortly after a high spring tide PICTURE: Matthew FarmerWells quayside shortly after a high spring tide PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

The erratic tides are being caused by a full harvest moon, which cause large spring tides and additional danger to people walking by the sea.

Wells coxswain Nicky King said: "At full moon, this time of year brings huge marsh tides and it not just the height of the tide, it's the speed at which it comes in that can catch you out."

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The Wells RNLI added: "You are quite safe, you think. Ahead of you, nothing but sand or marsh, then you glance behind and suddenly there's water everywhere. It wasn't there minutes before."

New Wells lifeboat coxswain Nicky King. Picture: RNLINew Wells lifeboat coxswain Nicky King. Picture: RNLI

Just a month ago, the RNLI discouraged people from visiting the shipwreck at Brancaster after two rescues within a week.

At the time, lifeboat spokesman Geoff Needham said: "The problem is you've got these two channels that come in from both sides. The wreck sands in between them become an island and it is a deep channel. It is an accident waiting to happen."

The Coastguard were called out to 436 incidents in Norfolk between January and July this year.

How you can stay safe on Norfolk's coastline?

- Make sure you check weather and tides before you set out, wear appropriate clothing and footwear and be aware of the risks.

- Read safety signs and always seek local advice on the tides to make sure you don't get cut off.

- Always make sure you have a way to call for help

- If you see anyone in trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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