NewsNet UK

Sully Island – showing the tidal causeway which links it to the mainland

It’s a simple idea – so simple it’s perhaps surprising nobody thought of it before – but now the RNLI has installed a signboard on Sully Island to warn visitors that they are indeed standing on an island which is – twice a day – completely surrounded by the sea.

Penarth lifeboat is tasked by HM Coastguard on scores of occasions every year to pick up people who find themselves marooned on Sully Island as the tidal causeway linking it to the mainland is submerged at high tide. No fewer that 14 people have been ferried ashore by lifeboat in the last two weeks.

The new sign points out what seems obvious to locals - but is evidently not so obvious to scores of visitors

The new sign points out what seems obvious to locals – but is evidently not so obvious to scores of visitors

The sign informs visitors they are "Visiting an Island"

The sign informs visitors they are “Visiting an Island”

It’s hoped that the sign now installed on the island itself will act as an immediate reminder of the risks and will avert further call-outs.

An RNLI traffic light tide-warning system was installed at Swanbridge at the point where the natural causeway to the island joins the mainland – giving visits a clear indicatrion of how much time they can safely spend on the island before the tide cuts them off  – but it still seems once they’re on the island all too many visitors lose  track of time.

The new signboard on the island details the risks to be considered when visiting Sully Island and gives essential safety advice.

Jason Dunlop, Penarth RNLI lifeboat operations manager, says  “We hope these news signs on Sully Island will complement the existing safety measures to help increase awareness around the risks of walking to and from the island.”


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  1. Christopher David says:

    Why don’t the owners consider offering the island too a few wildlife charities and see if one or more are prepared to take it over. There ae some interesting and un-common species of birds that inhabit the island for starters. Then it could be blocked off from random visitors, just accessed for organised tours, academics and supporting amateurs et al. Drastic and regrettable yes but it may- only may be a solution that works on several fronts!

  2. Chris Barry says:

    The RNLI should charge the people it ferries from the island when they get stuck, after all, they are a charity NOT a ferry service

    • Keith Inker says:

      It never ceases to amaze me that some rather hasty, knee-jerk reactions incapacitate the facility to think these issues through to the end consequences. The RNLI does not charge because they are not a ferry service. However, if people who are unaware that the causeway disappears under the tide are trapped on the island, they would also be unaware of the hazards involved in risking a crossing, and would possibly avoid charges by jeopardising their lives. Charging them a fee would therefore be more likely to result in drownings.

  3. Ivor Bagman says:

    I have noticed
    That notices
    Are ignored
    In Penarth
    Especially the bilingual
    One at the top of
    The railway ” walk”
    That tells cyclists to dismount !

  4. Ethel says:

    Yes. Cyclists ignore the siign every time. You really need your wits about you when walking on the path leading up to Plymouth Road. Also why don’t cyclists use bells any more ?

  5. AK says:

    Open Day at Penarth RNLI during the Carnival Day on Saturday.

  6. Parcel says:

    Its a sign of the times……….

Comments are closed.