Crews rescue woman stranded on St Mary's Island

The Cullercoats RNLI Lifeboat crew during the rescue. Picture by Gren Sowerby
The Cullercoats RNLI Lifeboat crew during the rescue. Picture by Gren Sowerby

Emergency crews were called out to rescue a woman stranded on St Mary's Island yesterday.

At around 2.25pm, UK Coastguard paged the Cullercoats RNLI Inshore Lifeboat team and Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and with a request to assist a woman who was reportedly hoping to catch sight of some seals when the tide cut her off.

With the next high tide due at just after 4pm and the next safe crossing time for using the causeway expected at 6.30pm, the lifeboat was tasked to bring her back to the mainland.

Once on scene, the lifeboat collected the woman and took her to Seaton Sluice Harbour, as it was too rough to land her safely on the beach, from where she was transferred into the care of the Brigade who took her back to her car.

A Brigade spokesman said the woman was extremely grateful for the help she had received and was reminded of the need to contact the Coastguard via 999 should she be in, or witness, a similar situation in the future.

The spokesman said: "In this case, once she realised that the causeway was no longer accessible, she had researched stories of tidal cut-offs at St Mary’s Island on the internet, which in turn gave her the name of the Brigade. She then used this information to find a contact number for our museum and this eventually led to her speaking to a member of the rescue team who advised her to dial 999 immediately. This roundabout way of contacting 999 delayed the rescue teams reaching the casualty which could have led to a different outcome in the incident. "

The Brigade reiterated that it is vital to remember to call 999 for all coastal emergencies and to ask for the Coastguard.