AN Arnside resident has dedicated 14 years of his life serving his community’s safety as the Tidal Warning Operator.

Colin Berry sounded off his final siren on May 7 before handing it over to the operator who will be replacing him.

A respected member of the community, Colin’s role saw him guide people away from dangers caused by incoming tides.

Born in Chorley, Colin looks forward to enjoying his retirement with his wife Helen.

He said: “I am looking forward to taking it easy with cycle rides, holidaying more, and enjoying summertime.

“We are originally from Chorley but started coming up to Arnside with a caravan in the 1980s.

“On average, in my job I would give a warning two-hour ahead of high tide, then 15 minutes before, and about 45 minutes after you do another one.

“When I started the job, I had retired from running a business and they were looking for a local to take over the role.

“The council wanted a visual representative there to look after it.

“I thought it was a volunteer job but its actually full time. Seven days a week. 14 years later here we are.

“It’s been good in every sense.

“You get to meet a load of people. Most of the time people don’t see the dangers of the water.

“We get lots of visitors who have never been there before. They don’t realise how dangerous the tide can be. It’s very low water when the tide is out but when it comes in the high tide can be very sudden and it rushes in very quickly.

“Working on the siren you can see why its not an automatic system. You’d always need someone here to operate it.

“People always think they have more time than they do on the beach but the water can cut people off.

“About 15 years ago we even had a whale wash up on the shore.

“Helen and I will enjoy the free time we have and I have enjoyed the last 14 years.”