Force 6 gales and 10ft waves - rescuers brave Cumbrian storm to locate man reported 'lost' at sea

RESCUERS battled force six gales and ten foot waves responding to a major rescue call out.

Volunteers from the RNLI’s Barrow station were on exercise at 8pm on Wednesday and were called to an incident on Walney Island near Earnsea Bay.

There had been reports of a man entering the sea - which was flooding very fast with a spring tide of 9.7 metres expected to peak after midnight.

Because of the height of the waves, Cumbria Police as well as coastguard units from Furness and Millom Coastguard were tasked to search the shore area, said Barrow RNLI.

Haverigg Inshore Rescue crew was also launched to search the north of Walney Island.

Due to the deteriorating weather the inshore lifeboat, ‘Spirit of Tamworth’, returned to the station at Roa Island and the larger more powerful lifeboat ‘Grace Dixon’ with seven crew under the command of Cox’n Shaun Charnley continued towards the area.

After extensive searching, Cumbria Police found a vehicle belonging to the casualty, near to Cross Dyke Scar at the extreme south end of Walney. The man was found safe and well on the beach.

Dave Green, Barrow Lifeboat operations manager, said: “Around the south end of Walney in those conditions the waves were between eight and ten feet in height which proved very challenging, especially for the inshore lifeboat, but we are only thankful that the man is safe and well as it was a horrendous night.”

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