THE RNLI has issued a warning about the dangers of beach walks at Rhyl and Prestatyn over Christmas.

The charity stated last year eight people lost their lives on the coasts of Wales and eight of these did not intend to enter the water.

Paul Frost of Rhyl lifeboat said: “We would like people, when they walk along the Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches this holiday season, to be aware the tide comes in quite fast and it may come in behind them as it surges down the gullies.

“They should make sure they have with them some means of calling for help, like a mobile, in case they get into difficulties.”

As an example of what can go wrong the RNLI gave the example of mum and daughter, Mandy Francis and Katie Holmes from Maentwrog. They were out walking with their dog Badger when they became trapped on the sandbanks by an incoming tide.

Mandy said: “We had been visiting this beach for many years and never realised the risks of walking on the sandbanks. We had always considered the beach to be a safe place to walk and did not realise how quickly the tide can come in around you and cut you off from the shore.

‘We will never forget the care and kindness shown to us by the RNLI during the rescue and will always remember that they saved our lives that day. Christmas is all about family and we’re so lucky to still be here and we will be eternally grateful for their work.’

Katie said: “I didn’t realise how much danger we were in as the rising tide cut us off, we really were in trouble. I’d urge anyone not to delay calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard if they are in trouble or see someone else in difficulty.

“It was seeing the words two lives and one dog saved outside the lifeboat station after we were rescued that really hit us on how our situation could have turned out so differently. We’re here to celebrate Christmas and that’s thanks to the RNLI who really did save our lives.’

The RNLI advised people who visit the coast this holiday to be wary of all edges around the sea and waterside. Slips and falls happen in all locations, it is not just high cliff edges that are a risk. Also always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back, take care when walking in dark and slippery conditions. Additionally take a means of calling for help and check the weather and tides. Getting cut off by the tide is a common cause of lifeboat launches.