NewsNet UK

Sully Island – showing the causeway linking it to the mainland which disappears when the tide rises

It’s emerged that on Tuesday evening two people, who were attempting to wade across the rapidly-flooding causeway linking Sully Island with the mainland, were rescued by quick-thinking and plucky members of the public .

Luckily a group of four people on the mainland at Swanbridge spotted the couple in the water as they were struggling to wade across the flooded causeway on the rising tide.

Two of the four bystanders waded fully-clothed into the sea to take lifebuoys to the couple they had spotted in the water. The other two raised the alarm and alerted the coastguards.

Penarth Coastguard officers were called to the scene and HM Coastguard at Milford Haven tasked Penarth Lifeboat to launch and go to the aid of causeway waders  – but the lifeboat was stood down before launching when it was established that the casualties had both reached the shore safely.

One of the people who had attempted to cross the causeway had to be assisted out of the water and was reported by Penarth Coastguard to have been injured . She was subsequently treated by an NHS  ambulance crew. The  other person was able to get out of the water unaided.

The causeway "traffic lights" with Sully Island in the background

The causeway “traffic lights” with Sully Island in the background

Nicola Davies, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager, said: ‘The tide at Sully Island can move very quickly and can catch people unaware. The causeway to the island is open three hours before low water to three hours after it – on the Barry tide times.

Nicola Davies of the RNLI says the red light means "don't attempt to cross".

Nicola Davies of the RNLI says the red light means “don’t attempt to cross”.

Nicola says “We ask people going to Sully Island to always check the tidal sign located on the wall heading down to the causeway to check when if it is safe to cross. If it is green it is safe to go and the sign will tell people how long they can safely stay on the island.

‘If it shows amber then you must be cautious as the tide is heading back in, if the sign is showing red our advice is never to go to the island as there is a real risk of being cut off.”

‘If anyone does get stuck on the island our advice is not to try to wade ashore, which is a dangerous thing to do. People can easily be swept away by the currents. People should stay on the island and dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

It’s yet to be established whether a similar RNLI traffic-light warning system would be installed as part of the controversial proposed Penarth Head Walkway  which – like the Sully Island causeway – would also be submerged at high tides.

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Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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  1. AK says:

    Brave efforts by bystanders, which should not have been necessary.

    Unfortunately no amount of signage, warnings or traffic lights will deter stupid people.

    • Martin Coffee says:

      This implies that everyone will see the sign.

      The sign is discretely placed and, unless specifically looking at it, seems to be something associated with the café.

      Nowadays there are so many signs everywhere ,most trivial and unnecessary, with the consequence that people are programmed not to see them. This is totally unsurprising.

      I’ve been to Canada, the Netherlands, and Turkey of late and it is so refreshing not to have signs everywhere shouting at you.

      Unfortunately the Sully Island solution is out of our direct control. Signs are a national problem and there needs to be laws banning advertising, trivial, and unnecessary ones.

      Don’t get me started on how illuminated signs are environmentally unfriendly and how environmentally friendly it is turning off street lights.

      • AK says:

        They may miss the sign heading to the island depending on which route they take, there are signs on the island itself which are harder to miss.

        But it is obvious to anyone with a brain that it is a causeway, and so is likely to be covered by the tide.

        Stupid people !

  2. Martin Coffee says:

    Can’t someone start a water taxi service for the island? That, at least, would relieve the RNLI of these duties and the thought of paying to be rescued would make these people more careful

  3. Frank Evans says:

    A few well publicised drownings maybe the only way to get through to these stupid stupid people., who put others in danger. The bodies could be hung up on posts on either side of the causeway.

    • MBW says:

      Totally agree the only way to get through to these stupid, thoughtless people who put the life’s of innocence bystanders at risk is to “name and shame” and a fine would not go amiss, as adults they should know better than to risk beating the tides as the saying goes “tide and time waits for no man” is very true. In the past it had been muttered that a language barrier has been a problem, maybe the forthcoming EU referendum may help sort this problem!!

  4. AK says:

    Language barrier my a**e.

    Lack of common sense barrier more like.

    There are tides all over the world. In and out twice daily, regular as clockwork.

  5. Parcel says:

    “One of the people who had attempted to cross the causeway had to be assisted out of the water and was reported by Penarth Coastguard to have been injured . She was subsequently treated by an NHS ambulance crew. The other person was able to get out of the water unaided.”

    Without an ounce of common sense. Its like watching lemmings. Some people seem to be compelled to cross the island at all costs, they have to do it.
    They have no choice!…………

  6. AK says:

    And almost a repeat last night, although they got ashore safely in the end.

    Perhaps if the lifeboat dropped them ashore at Penarth instead of the Captain’s Wife, they might think twice about doing it again !

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