Six calls so far this year to the derelict Birnbeck Island. On Thursday yet another to two who could not resist the call of this dangerous place.
The Island of Birnbeck is a magnet for those who wish to take their chances with the vicious and dramatic tides of the Bristol Channel. Too often those who are foolhardy enough to cross to the island at low water find the tide comes in with great speed and cuts them off.
Many times the ferocious tides have put lives in danger. Indeed last year two who got cut off and were clinging to the Pier Legs had only minutes to live before the lifeboat saved them. In the past a fisherman died because he did not anticipate the strength of the tide. His body was never found.
It has become normal practice that whenever anyone is seen crossing to the Island the RNLI volunteers are summoned and have to go and bring the visitors back safely.
This happened again on Thursday when a couple were seen walking over to the Island. It turned out that when they saw that the tide had cut them off, they did the sensible thing and waited to be rescued. This is the RNLI’s advice to anyone who is at risk there.
The D Class lifeboat Anna Stock was launched from its low water launch site and went round to the island where they saw the couple. A lifeboatman went to escort them into the lifeboat where they had survivor lifejackets fitted and were brought back to the lifeboat station.
Liam McDermott, RNLI Helmsman said: ‘Birnbeck is becoming a big problem. We are not sure why it has become so. Apparently there is a Facebook post which encourages photos of derelict buildings. Perhaps that is why. Whatever the reason people should not put their lives at risk by going over to the Island.’
The picture show the couple on the Island walking towards the lifeboat. A video is available at https://www.rnlivideolibrary.org.uk/play/VNr6TnPU