RNLI stress importance of tide times as Norfolk prepares for heatwave

Mandy Humphreys water safety officer has stressed the importance of keeping an eye of tide times whilst enjoying the water

Mandy Humphreys, the water safety officer associated with the RNLI in Wells has stressed the importance of keeping an eye of tide times whilst enjoying the water - Credit: National Trust/Sarah Lucy Brown

As Norfolk gets set for a heatwave the RNLI has reminded people to make sea safety a priority.

With temperatures expected to soar into the mid to high 30s - and even the chance of a record-breaking 40C in places - people will be heading to the coast to cool off.

Mandy Humphreys, a volunteer crew member at RNLI Wells and water safety officer at Wells boathouse, reminded people of the importance of checking the tide times to remain safe while enjoying the water. 

Mandy Humphreys with one of Campbells photographs. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mandy Humphreys, a volunteer crew member at RNLI Wells and the water safety officer associated with the Wells boathouse - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"This weekend the tides are especially big - it comes in further and goes out further than usual," Dr Humphreys said.

"When these large tides happen sand bars get exposed on the beach that are not normally accessible. These areas represent a high risk for tidal cut-off as the water will be coming in particularly quickly when the tide starts to come in.

"The higher tides mean areas that normally remain dry may well be covered by the sea.

"Examples of this are the car parks at Blakeney and Burnham Overy, the quay wall in Wells, and parts of Wells and Stiffkey marshes."

The safety officer added that everyone from swimmers to dog walkers needs to keep one eye on tide times. 

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“We have some important messages when going out between Brancaster Staithe, and Cley, the area which our lifeboats routinely cover,” she said.

“We have based this on the lifeboat callouts that we have had since 2019.

“We are encouraging the public to be aware of the appropriate tide times when heading out there.

“To avoid tidal cutoff, we tell people to be back to the main part of the beach, dry sand, or land at least four hours before Wells bar high tide time.

Beach goers sizzle in the high temperatures at Wells-Next-the-Sea.

Beach goers sizzle in the high temperatures at Wells-Next-the-Sea. - Credit: Archant

“And if you are swimming, using a paddle board, or kayak, people should stick to the hour on either side of the high tide time.”

Dr Humphreys has also encouraged people not to use inflatables, like lidos or dinghies in the sea.

“Inflatables are great fun in swimming pools - but they are not a good idea in the sea," she said.

“Because they are light and sit right on top of the water, they are prone to be blown away.

“This is especially dangerous when the tide is going out or the wind is blowing off the shore onto the sea. 

"There is a significant risk of being swept out to sea under these conditions.”

A view over Brancaster, looking towards Scolt Head Island and the golf club. Picture: Ian Burt

A view over Brancaster, looking towards Scolt Head Island and the golf club. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

You can see tide times by going to tidetimes.org.uk/wells-bar-tide-times