More than 50 beachgoers had to be rescued when they got trapped in sinking mud as crowds flocked to the coast at the weekend.
Avon Fire and Rescue service saved 30 people at Weston-super-Mare beach at about 5pm on Saturday and rescued a further 23 people on Sunday about 7pm.
Station manager Shaun Heighton said the very high tide at Weston beach meant it left a dangerous mud residue behind.
Mr Heighton said beaches along the coastline were extremely busy due to a “classic combination” of lockdown easing and the heatwave “which means people want to go to the beach to have fun.
Sand becomes mud
“The sand stops and it becomes the mud, and people want to get into the water and so they go down and think nothing of the mud.
“Then they start squelching through it and think it’s all a bit of fun but quite quickly it becomes quite dangerous.
On Saturday Weston Coastguard and ambulance services were called to help find a 12-year-old child who went missing on the beach.
The child was quickly found but the rescue mission soon expanded.
Mr Heighton added: “We did a sweep of the beach and spoke to a variety of different groups and ended bringing back 30 people and one dog who were either stuck in the mud, starting to get into trouble or starting to get exhausted.”
On Sunday, a further 23 people were rescued at the same beach.
Scare at Brean
On Saturday, the Burnham-on-Sea hovercraft (BARB) volunteers were on standby to rescue two people who entered the muddy area of Brean beach trying to warn a family of five they were in danger.
A BARB spokesperson said: “As the team was en-route to Brean, we received the positive news from Burnham Coastguard that they were out of the mud and back on the safety of the hard sand.
“The team was stood down and no further action was required on this occasion.
“Our advice is to keep away from mud on local beaches and stay on the hard sand.”
Burnham Coastguard added that by trying to help, the two people potentially became casualties.
“This is why we are so passionate about safety and why entering into the situation to intervene is not the right thing to do,” the spokesperson said.