British Transport Police and HM Coastguard are urging the public to check the tide before visiting a Fife beach
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British Transport Police (BTP) is working with HM Coastguard, RNLI and Network Rail in urging the public to check the tide before visiting Burntisland beach in Fife to prevent trespass onto the railway.
BTP has recorded 19 incidents of trespass between July 2020 and June 2021 at this location, resulting from people climbing up the embankment and onto the railway when they're left stranded on the beach as the tide comes in. This has prompted BTP and its partners to issue joint safety messaging as the summer holidays get underway.
BTP Inspector Bryan O’Neill said: “As the school holidays approach, we’re expecting to see more incidents in this area.
“There have been incidents of trespass on the East Coast Main line where people go for a walk on the shore, end up trapped by the tide and try to escape by climbing up the embankment then onto the railway.
“The railway is full of hidden dangers. Too many times we have seen the tragic consequences of people ignoring the warnings about trespassing on the railway and taking risks that have resulted in terrible injuries or death.
“This is why we want to urge the public to check the tide times before venturing out along the beach so that they don’t end up trapped by the tide and then put themselves in more danger by trespassing on the railway.
“Passengers continue to be our eyes and ears and they can help us by reporting crimes and concerns by texting 61016.”
HM Coastguard Coastal Operations Area Commander Robbie Robertson said: “You should always check the tide times and weather conditions before you set off for a walk along the coast so that you are not caught out. We want you to enjoy your visit and the best way to do this is by being prepared, make sure you know how much time to leave yourself to get safely back and remember if you do find yourself in difficulty at the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your rescue.”
RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead, Michael Avril said: “Tides have a reputation for being unpredictable, but actually follow a very accurate timetable. You can gather tidal information from the local Harbour Master, tourist information centre, or from some seaside resorts and shops. Daily tide times are also available from websites such as www.magicseaweed.com.”
Mark Henderson, Senior Community Engagement Manager at Network Rail, added: “Trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous and anyone struck by a train will likely be killed or suffer life-changing injuries. It is important those using the beach understand these dangers and do not rely on crossing the railway to leave the shore.”
BTP and Network Rail run a hard-hitting safety campaign, You Vs Train, which highlights the devastating consequences that trespassing on the railway can have. For more information on the You Vs Train campaign visit: https://www.youvstrain.co.uk/
To avoid getting cut off by the tide follow these simple steps:
• Before you head out, make sure it’s safe by checking the weather and tide tables.
• While you are out, be aware of your surroundings and the tide direction.
• If you do find yourself in trouble on the coast, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.