RNLI warns of inflatable risks after North Sea rescues

Dinghy being brought to shore Image copyright RNLI
Image caption A family of five were swept a mile out to sea on a dinghy in one of two incidents in a matter of days

People are being warned to leave their inflatables at home after two incidents off the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast.

A family of five were swept out to sea on a dinghy on Wednesday at Tunstall and two teenagers had to be rescued near Huttoft on Sunday.

The RNLI say ebbing tides, strong currents and winds can swiftly carry an inflatable out to sea.

The organisation said inflatables were designed for pools not the sea.

The Withernsea lifeboat crew was launched to rescue the family, which included two adults and three children.

Family in danger

The group were stranded on a four-metre dinghy a mile from shore, near Tunstall in East Yorkshire, and were struggling to try and row back.

Helmsman Matthew Woodhouse said the family had not meant to put themselves in danger.

"They didn't really appreciate the sea and what the water could do and the conditions that day because it was very windy."

Mr Woodhouse said inflatables were best left at home, but if people did want to use them they should go to a lifeguarded beach.

'Suitable' conditions

He said: "The RNLI has had an unprecedented busy year with inflatables.

"I would urge people to check that the sea conditions are suitable before entering the water with any inflatable.

"Although they can be lots of fun, British and Irish waters can be dangerously unpredictable."

On Sunday the crew of the Mablethorpe lifeboat station were called to rescue two teenagers at Huttoft in Lincolnshire.

The crew found one person in the water and one person on the inflatable.

A member of the crew went to the aid of the person in the water, who could not swim.

Both were brought safely to shore and received hospital treatment, the RNLI said.

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