Ex Grimsby fisherman, 81, helps save people stranded on Cleethorpes sandbank as tide rushes in

A former fisherman with three decades of experience in the dangerous waters around Grimsby and Cleethorpes knew straight away there would be trouble when he saw people walking far out at high tide.

Graham Hobson, 81, had just left The Punch Bowl in North Promenade, Cleethorpes, at around tea time on Sunday when he saw three figures walking beyond a sandbank in the distance. Knowing the tides so well, he realised they were about to become trapped.

"I went to walk up and look at the ships because I went to sea for 30-odd years and then I saw these people out right at the tide, well past the sandbank," he said. "They must have just been moving up a bit as the tide was coming in."


Graham saw the rising water effectively "pen them in". He knew they couldn't possibly escape and decided to call for the Coastguard for help - an action which saw him thanked by the crew.

He added: "I thought right it's time to call them up because I know how dangerous it is out there after going to sea for all those years. I told them where abouts it was.

"I could see the people come to the other side of the sandbank to try and come across the water and it was too deep for them. The Coastguard came in a small dinghy to pick them up."

Graham said the rescue happened in two stages - at first the Coastguard sent somebody out in a small boat to reach the stranded people and check they were OK. A larger boat then arrived to pick them up and take them back to dry land.

"I went up the prom to the slipway by Wonderland and there were two of the rescuers on standby. I was talking to one of them and said 'I am the one who reported it and I hope I did well'.

"He said I did because there was no way they'd have gotten off that sandbank. He shook my hand."

Graham waited until the stranded people were brought back safety before leaving the promenade. He said the Coastguard had put blankets around them and they appeared to be OK after the misadventure.

A spokesperson for Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "Just before 6pm yesterday (12 May), HM Coastguard had a report that two people were at risk of being cut off by the tide near Wonderland, Cleethorpes.

"Cleethorpes and Donna Nook Coastguard Rescue Teams were sent together with the RNLI lifeboat from Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes Beach Safety. The two people were brought back to the safety of the shore by the lifeboat where they were met by the Coastguard teams."