Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

Lifeboat crew called to a submerged horse box on Holy Island causeway

Lifeboat crew called to rescue a submerged horse box that was swamped by the sea on the Holy Island causeway

  • A van submerged by high tides on Holy Island causeway had one man inside
  • Seahouses RNLI lifeboat crew were relieved to find the horsebox was empty
  • Operations manager Ian Clayton said language difficulties were to blame
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A man whose horsebox was submerged by a rising tide on a causeway may have ended up there due to language difficulties, an RNLI operations manager revealed.

The Seahouses RNLI inshore lifeboat found a man taking shelter from rising tide on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne causeway off the coast of Northumberland.

He was forced to abandon his horsebox when water started seeping into the van during its journey across the causeway.


The Seahouses RNLI inshore lifeboat crew were relieved to find no horse in the back of the van


Crews responded to the report at 3.09pm – just an hour before high tide – and found the van almost completely submerged

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Swimming to a nearby refuge box, built specifically for if people find themselves trapped on the causeway, he waited for help.

Operations manager Ian Clayton said there were initially reports two men has been in the van.

Language difficulties meant it took some time to verify only one person was involved.


A man was found taking shelter in this refuge box that lines the causeway to help those who accidentally try to cross during high tides


Operations manager Ian Clayton said there were initially reports two men has been in the van and language difficulties meant it took some time to verify only one person was involved.

He said: ‘But the crew was very pleased when there was no horse in the vehicle.

‘That would have been quite a difficult situation.’

The lifeboat had been on a training exercise at the Farne Islands when they responded to the report at 3.09pm – during high spring tide.

The man was rescued from the refuge box and taken to the mainland where he was handed in to the care of local coastguard officers.

Safe crossing times for yesterday were from 8.20am until 1.50pm and it was unsafe to cross again until 8.50pm.

A distress call was received just one hour before high tide at 4.20pm.

Mr Clayton added: ‘We suspect that language problems may have contributed to this incident.’

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