Urgent warning after Birnbeck Island rescues

Half of the RNLI team's call-outs this year have been to people venturing out onto Weston-super-Mare's Birnbeck Island Credit: ITV West Country

The Weston-super-Mare RNLI crew has issued an urgent warning after being called out to a series of rescues of people near Birnbeck Island.

Crews rescued six people in the last two weeks alone.

The warning comes after the latest rescue in which a young couple became stranded on the island last Thursday, April 5. The tide came in and they could not get back to the shore.

The pair were given lifejackets by crews and were taken back to the safety of the shore on board the lifeboat.

  • Watch the RNLI video of the rescue

Weston lifeboat has been called out 12 times this year so far, half of those to Birnbeck Island.

Despite warnings from the charity, people are continuing to walk out to the bank of the island regardless of the risk of being cut off from the shore at high tide.

This part of the north Somerset coast has the second highest tidal range in the world with a huge amount of water coming in during a short period of time.

The shingle path leading to the derelict Victorian pier becomes submerged in minutes, preventing people from walking back.

Last year, two people who attempted to cross back to the mainland got stuck halfway across and were found by the RNLI clinging to the pier legs. The RNLI crew said they had about ten minutes to live.

Three other people have lost their lives in and around Birnbeck over the last ten years.