Dramatic rescue for holiday couple

A couple and their pet dog had to be plucked to safety after they were cut off by the treacherous Solway tide on Tuesday September 18.

The holidaymakers, Mark and Penny Smith, had gone for a walk across the sands from Sandyhills beach, about five miles south of Dalbeattie on Colvend Coast.

They had walked along the sands towards the holiday village of Southerness but when they came to return they realized the tide was cutting them off.

They managed to scramble up a cliff face about a mile from the holiday village along with their pet dog.

At first they couldn’t get a signal on their mobile phone but eventually managed to dial 999 to alert the coastguards.

Meanwhile they watched the tide, one of the biggest for several months, come roaring in.

The rescue Credit: Drew Geddes

Liverpool Coastguards called out the Kippford Inshore rescue boat about five miles away along with local Portling Coastguards and firefighters from Dalbeattie and Annan, who have a specially trained boat team, along with police.

Back safely Credit: Drew Geddes

The Kippford Lifeboat managed to pluck the couple from the cliff face.

The relieved couple who are staying locally are from Worcestershire and Mark said:

“We thought we had enough time to get back but then we found that the tide had cut us off.

“We couldn’t get through on the phone at first but then we managed to get the emergency services. We can’t thank them enough for it gave us a terrible scare. We are going to make a donation to the rescue services.”

– Mark Smith
Back on dry land Credit: Drew Geddes

A Liverpool Coastguard spokeswoman, where the rescue was co-ordinated from, said:

“We took the call and got the lifeboat from Kippford. They couple were able to tell us where they were – near a big new house that had been recently built.

“We knew roughly from this where they were and were able to direct the lifeboat. They were extremely lucky because the tides at present are very big – just like the spring tides. They wind was also blowing it in on to the rocks and cliffs.

“The Solway is a very dangerous place if you don’t know the area and everyone should ask and find out about tide times.”

– Liverpool Coastguard spokesperson
Warning signs on the beach Credit: Drew Geddes