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Swimmers "just having a paddle" unhappy with rescuers

Photo: Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team

Members of Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team say they were surprised by the response as they tried to help someone last night.

They were called to the jetty just after 930pm - following concerns someone was missing.

They were met with being told "just having a paddle and this is allowed" and crews say they left after trying to explain about the strong currents in the area.

A spokesperson for the crew team: "A member of public who was out for an evening stroll noticed some people at the far end of the slip way with their phone torches on, one of the persons returned to the esplanade but the second had turned their light off and was wandering around in the darkness before disappearing from view.

"We arrived at the station to gather more information and speak to the concerned member of public who explained what he had seen, he then said the person had made their way back to safety and was just getting into their car.

"When we are called we have a duty of care to ensure as far as possible that all persons are accounted for and that there is no one else in danger, so with this in mind we approached the person involved to check.

"Sadly not everyone is pleased to see us and this was fully evident from the response received.

"After explaining that we were only there to ensure their safety and that they weren't in any trouble the two people involved said "they were having a paddle and that it's allowed"

"After trying to explain about the currents that sweep across the jetty and being ignored they went on their way.

"We aren't here to stop your fun but we are here to help keep people safe or rescue them if things go wrong, we respond due to concerns for welfare.

"So if we approach you it's because we want to keep you safe.

"The member of public did exactly the right thing and we are always happy to attend even if they aren't happy to see us.

"So if you ever have concerns for anyone along the coast just dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

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