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Morecambe Bay quicksand dangers

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A teenage girl has been rescued after she became stuck up to her waist in quicksand in Morecambe Bay.

The girl had been walking along the sands close to the shore near Silverdale in early June. She was treated by paramedics before being transferred to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

A coastguard spokesman said the woman, thought to be about 20 years old, had managed to raise the alarm by using her mobile phone to contact relatives, who then called the emergency services.

Morecambe and Knott End coastguards were called to the scene, along with the Morecambe RNLI crew. As a result of the accident the RNLI have warned members of the public "to always be vigilant on the sands".

Many other incidents involving the quicksand have occurred. In 2012 another lady became trapped in the sand, however, was not seriously hurt.

In 1996 a young man cheated death by minutes after spending a night trapped in the quicksand. The gentleman was neck deep in water when he was pulled from the sands. After the accident the gentleman explained how he realised he would have to sit and wait for the tide to come and wipe him out.

The most publicised news of Morecambe Bay was in 2004 when 19 cockle pickers lost their lives to the quicksand.

The earliest recorded deaths at the bay is as early at 1857 with the sinking and overturning of horse-drawn coaches. 

Many warnings go out by the coastguard warning people to stay off Morecambe Bay sands, unless accompanied by a guide. A spokesman  has previously said: "Walkers should be wary of the incoming tides and sinking sand across the bay. The sands of Morecambe Bay are notoriously dangerous and when there is more rain it is even more treacherous. Even if the tide is out, with an amount rain the sand is still very soft.”

The dangers of Morecambe Bay cannot be under estimated, between Walney Island and Fleetwood at the mouth of the Bay, and the coastline behind, is an area of 195 square miles. At extreme low tides the 120 square miles are exposed as a sandy desert.

It is important to note that the sinking sands move with the tide and weather and therefore if people wish to walk along the route it would be sensible to book a guide. There are trained people who know the tide and the areas to cross to make the trip safe. Any internet search engine will recommend highly skilled people to assist you.

By Tara Lever