Image: ILB off Beachy Head

Four walkers had to be rescued by Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat yesterday (6 April) when they become trapped at the foot of cliffs by the rising tide.

The group had set out from Birling Gap with the intention of walking along the beach to Holywell but had failed to take account of the speed of the rising tide and became cut off just east of the Beachy Head lighthouse. Fortunately the group’s dilemma was spotted by the crew of a passing yacht when they saw them trying to climb rocks to escape the advancing water and reported the situation to Dover Coastguard. Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was launched and was quickly on scene. The stranded group were taken aboard and transferred to the beach at Birling Gap where their ill advised adventure had begun.

Later a spokesman said it is sometimes difficult to get the message about tides across to visitors, especially if they are from overseas and are unable to understand the signage clearly displayed at the entrances to the beaches.