Hunstanton RNLI Search for Seven Lost on Heacham Beach

We all love to enjoy the beautiful beaches in and around West Norfolk but sadly, all too often, a number of people get caught out by the tides and weather by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your day can start off nice and sunny and you get lulled into a false sense of security. We must, however, be aware of the need to respect the water in order to keep safe.

The RNLI get many calls to assist individuals and groups in trouble off the coast of Hunstanton, Heacham and Snettisham. Late morning on Saturday 4th June 2016 the Humber Coastguard had to request the launch of the Hunstanton Hovercraft to assist seven people lost on Heacham beach in foggy conditions.

Humber Coastguard had been called by mobile phone from a group of three adults and four children, who were lost on Heacham beach and surrounded by thick fog.

RNLI volunteer crew from Hunstanton duly launched the station hovercraft, The Hunstanton Flyer, and headed to the general area only to then receive a call that everyone involved were now safely back on the beach. The RNLI volunteers met with the lost family and explained the risks of going out on to the flats on very low tides and then returned the hovercraft and crew to Hunstanton RNLI station.

Thankfully on this occasion all ended well. This is not always the case and those of us who live on the coast are very grateful to the RNLI volunteers who are on hand to assist.

RNLI Sea safety advice to visitors continues to be DO NOT venture out onto the flats or banks, at Heacham or Snettisham in West Norfolk however tempting this may be. There are very good reasons for the advice:

  • The tides in the Heacham and Snettisham beach areas go out over a mile and when the tide turns the tidal currents are very strong.
  • Tides are predictable but weather conditions can change very quickly and you can soon be in trouble.

One way you could support the work of the RNLI is to sponsor Hayley Coker and Tracy Mcgivern who will be completing a 47 mile walk from Cromer to Hunstanton in Norfolk over 3 days. This adventure began at Cromer Lifeboat station on 3 June and ends at the Honeystone in Hunstanton today, 5 June 2016. The ladies camped along the way raising money from passers-by. This is not as easy as it sounds as neither of them had ever worn a pair of walking boots before and camping has never been their thing either! It is not too late to support them. If you would like to do so then go to

Photo credit: RNLI


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