Friday November 4th, 2011

Looks like the newly revamped cockling industry of Lytham St.Annes on the Fylde coast is about to see its days. Coastal officials are worried about the lack of regulation and the lack of safety. The local RNLI has been called out several times.

One of the recent emergencies involved a small, barely seaworthy fibreglass boat towing two dinghies with five people on board.

Inshore lifeboat helmsman, Scott Ainslie, said,‘It is no secret that, as a lifeboat station, we are extremely busy at the moment due to the current increase in people going out to sea to harvest from the recently opened cockle beds. As a charity, our aim is to rescue those in need of help at sea and this is something that we will always do as volunteer crew... However, we would reiterate our safety messages – be prepared by checking the weather forecast and tide timetable; know the limitations of your vessel; be aware of any navigational dangers; have a contingency plan in place; know how you will signal for help if the need arises; always wear a lifejacket and carry buoyancy aids; have a means of communication on board, and know first aid to a competent level. We can only hope that people heed this advice so that they do not become unstuck while dealing with one of nature’s most unpredictable elements, the sea.’
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