20th rescue from island causeway

The car stranded on the Holy Island Causeway.
The car stranded on the Holy Island Causeway.

CARS becoming stranded on the Holy Island causeway continues to plague rescue services with two more incidents in the last week.

The latest, on Monday afternoon, in which a man and woman had to be rescued from the refuge box by Seahouses lifeboat crew, was the 20th this year.

Just before 2pm, the inshore lifeboat was launched to help the pair who had abandoned their Mercedes estate with the tide rising around it.

Both had made their way to the refuge box but were cold and wet, and the female had a heart condition. There was obvious concern for their welfare.

The Seahouses crew was on the scene within 20 minutes of being called, and brought the couple safely to shore.

Here they were met by shore-based Coastguard Rescue Officers from Seahouses, and an ambulance as a precautionary measure. Neither required any additional medical assistance.

Ian Clayton, lifeboat operations manager at Seahouses, said: “The problem continues, despite all of the media coverage.

“I am saddened by the continuation of these incidents, and my greatest fear is that one day, we may have a fatality.”

On the day, safe crossing times were between 5.40am and 12.45pm and from 6.05pm until 12.05am (Tuesday). High tide at Seahouses was 2.48pm and would have been five to eight minutes earlier at the causeway.

Two days earlier, on Saturday, Holy Island Coastguards were called out when another car became stranded outside the safe crossing times.

A packed-out meeting took place on the island at the end of August to discuss possible solutions, in which the residents presented a petition of nearly 150 names against the erection of barriers.

It was made clear that the villagers would not accept any measures that inconvenienced them.

Following the meeting, a working group was set up by Northumberland County Council to look at suggestions.