Cause(way) for concern

This holidaying couple, rescued from the Holy Island causeway, were just the latest people to fall victim to the incoming tides at Lindisfarne

For Seahouses RNLI, a call out to the causeway at Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, is a regular occurence – they’re on their eighth already this year.

This time it was an Australian couple who had to abandon their hire car and head to the refuge station after they were caught out by incoming tides.

Seahouses RNLI crewmember, Ian Clayton, said, “It’s all so preventable. None of those who are caught out are locals, it’s always people who are visiting the area.”

The Holy Island causeway is under water twice every 24 hours.

“They all seem to think it’s not their fault, but they’ve totally ignored warning signs on both sides of the road,” Clayton said, “It’s quite bizarre.”

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Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne, is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors each year. Clayton told the BBC: “A couple of years ago islanders specifically warned a man to leave the island before the tide came in, otherwise he would get stuck.

“He pooh-poohed it, saying it was just something to frighten tourists, but half an hour later he was hanging on to the roof of his car and his wife was up to her chest in water, clinging on to their two children.”

He added that sea water entering the engine would mean that the car would have to be written off.

“In one recent rescue a man had a virtually brand-new BMW,” he said.

“You do wonder what people put on their insurance claim forms in such cases.”


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