A lifeboat crew is warning riders of the dangers of hacking on the beach after three horses and their riders stranded by the tide yesterday (13 October).

Wells lifeboat was called out to the riders who were cut off by the tide and were stuck on an island off Burnham Overy Staithe, on Holkham beach in Norfolk.

The crew are trained to tackle difficult rescues, but this one they had to undertake on foot.

The riders had taken their horses out to the beach and had crossed over to Scolt Head Island on the other side of the harbour at low water. While there, they miscalculated the time of the tide and ended up being cut off and unable to return across the channel.

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The lifeboat was called at around 6pm on Monday (12 October), however, the rescue wasn’t complete until 2am.

“Even though they were advised not to, by both the RNLI crew and the coastguard that it would be too dangerous for them to return at low water in the dark, the three women decided they wanted re-cross the channel at the earliest opportunity,” said a spokesman.

“They were dissuaded from making the crossing late last night, which would have meant wading through a dangerous ebbing tide, instead they were persuaded to wait until low water at 2am.”

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The crew, using their transporter tractor to light the way, guided the group back to safety on foot as there was now no water in the channel.

Lifeboat spokesman, Chris Hardy added: “The crew are trained for most eventualities, but it not often you rescue people and animals on foot. Thankfully all ended well and no one was hurt.”

Peter Rainsford of the lifeboat crew urged other riders to take care while riding on Holkham beach.

“The beach looks beautiful to ride on, which it is, but there are some areas where it becomes dangerous,” he told H&H.

These are avoidable dangers. It’s a lovely sandy beach but when the tide comes in there are areas that you might have crossed a channel. You are then stuck in impassable water.

“Seek local advice and understand the tide times. And always carry a mobile phone.”