Coastguards escort school children from Holy Island causeway

Coastguards led schoolchildren to safety after their minibus broke down on a Northumberland causeway less than an hour before the tide came in

The incident at Holy Island was the first of three callouts in three days for coastguards there
The incident at Holy Island was the first of three callouts in three days for coastguards there

Coastguards led schoolchildren to safety after their minibus broke down on a Northumberland causeway less than an hour before the tide came in.

The incident at Holy Island was the first of three callouts in three days for coastguards there.

In the second, they went to search for a group lost in sand dunes, one of whom had a suspected broken leg, while the third saw coastguards responding to a bonfire in the dunes, an incident which has sparked a warning over the dangers of starting fires at this time of year in dry areas.

Humber Coastguard was informed by Northumbria Police of a report of a school minibus having broken down on the causeway which links Holy Island to the mainland on Thursday afternoon. Island coastguards were informed at 2.13pm, just 45 minutes before the incoming tide would have reached the bus.

They worked with police in taking the children off the bus and leading them off the causeway on foot. The bus was towed to safety.

At 3.06am on Saturday, Humber Coastguard was informed by the North East Ambulance Service that a group of adults were lost in Holy Island’s sand dunes. A 26-year-old woman had a suspected broken leg.

The coastguards found the group on the North side of the island after around 20 minutes and transported a paramedic to the scene in their 4x4. A search and rescue helicopter took the woman to Wansbeck General Hospital.

Coastguards then transported the paramedic back to the mainland before the tide covered the causeway.

Later on Saturday, the island coastguards received a report from a member of the public concerned about a small bonfire in the sand dunes on the North side of the island. They informed the relevant authorities about a fire.

A small fire in the dunes near the Snook on the island, spread and caused extensive damage to a grassed area in 2011.

A spokesman for the team warned: “Bonfires in the sand-dunes are extremely dangerous especially at this time of year when the dune vegetation is very dry.”

The incidents sparked debate on social networking website Facebook. Alan Barker said of the lost group: “One has to wonder what people were doing wandering around the dunes in the middle of the night? Perhaps we shouldn’t!

“Anyway, well done to all the people involved in the rescue. Let’s wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

Another member of the group said of the bonfire: “Some people just do not think. It could have had horrific consequences. Thank goodness it was sorted in time.”

 

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