Howick Coastguard Rescue Team and their colleagues from Seahouses were joined by Northumbria Police officers after concerns were raised when lights were spotted at Emblestones at Low Newton, just after 9.30pm yesterday, Tuesday, April 7.
Now the Coastguard teams have issued a firm warning to those who think it is safe to breach the guidelines issued by the Government to stay at home, with their actions putting the officers and their families at risk.
After discussions between the emergency services, it was decided the men should be fined for their actions.
The new legislation passed last month gives police officers the power to issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
A spokesperson for Howick Coastguard said: “The search team quickly located two males who were digging for worms during the low water period.
“The search team maintained their social distancing and escorted the pair back to the Coastguard rendevous point.
“The pair were given stern words of advice by both HM Coastguard and also Northumbria Police officers on scene.
“The two men had travelled from the Newcastle area up to Low Newton, a round trip of around 100 miles.
“Following the discussion with the two males, Northumbria Police cautioned both of them and appropriate fines have been issued.
“We really cannot emphasise enough that people should not be travelling and carrying on outdoor activities as if nothing is happening.
“This incident put at risk 10 Coastguard Rescue officers, and their families, and three police officers and their families.
“This was a totally needless and certainly non-essential journey.
“People really need to listen to the advice that Public Health England and the Government are issuing.
“The country has been closed down for a reason.”
They added a reminder that anyone reporting an emergency at sea or on the coast, or if someone may be in difficulty, to call 999 and cast for the Coastguard.