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.
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 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.