Wells RNLI stresses importance of tidal times before heat wave

Published:
4:25 PM July 14, 2022



As Norfolk prepares for a heat wave, the RNLI has reminded people to make safety at sea a priority.

With temperatures set to soar into the mid-30s – and even the possibility of a record high of 40C in places – people will be heading to the coast to cool off.

Mandy Humphreys, volunteer crew member at RNLI Wells and Water Safety Manager at Wells Boathouse, reminded people of the importance of checking tide times to stay safe while enjoying the water.


Mandy Humphreys, volunteer crew member at RNLI Wells and Associate Water Safety Officer at Wells Boathouse
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“This weekend the tides are particularly significant – they come in further and come out further than usual,” Dr Humphreys said.

“When these high tides occur, sandbars are exposed on the beach that are not normally accessible. These areas represent a high risk of tidal cuts as water will arrive particularly quickly when the tide begins to rise.

“The higher tides mean that areas that normally remain dry may well be covered by the sea.

“Examples of this are the Blakeney and Burnham Overy car parks, the Wells quay wall and parts of the Wells and Stiffkey marshes.”

The safety officer added that everyone from swimmers to dog walkers should keep an eye on the tide times.

“We have important messages as we go out between Brancaster Staithe and Cley, the area our lifeboats regularly cover,” she said.

“We based this on the lifeboat calls we’ve had since 2019.

“We encourage the public to be aware of the appropriate tide times when traveling there.

“To avoid the tidal cut, we tell people to return to the main part of the beach, dry sand or land at least four hours before Wells high tide time.


Beachgoers sizzle in the high temperatures at Wells-Next-the-Sea.

Beachgoers sizzle in the high temperatures at Wells-Next-the-Sea.
– Credit: Archant

“And if you’re swimming, using a paddle board or a kayak, people have to stick to the time on either side of the high tide time.”

Dr Humphreys also encouraged people not to use inflatables, such as lidos or dinghies at sea.

“Inflatables are great fun in swimming pools – but not a good idea in the sea,” she said.

“Because they are light and sit just above the water, they are susceptible to being blown away.

“It’s particularly dangerous when the tide goes out or the wind blows from the shore out to sea.

“There is a significant risk of being swept out to sea in these conditions.”


A view over Brancaster, towards Scolt Head Island and the golf club.  Photo: Ian Burt

A view over Brancaster, towards Scolt Head Island and the golf club. Photo: Ian Burt
– Credit: Ian Burt

You can see the tide times by going to tidetimes.org.uk/wells-bar-tide-times

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