An angler got well and truly out of his depth and had to be rescued by Scarborough RNLI on Sunday afternoon (8 2 15).
By the time the inshore lifeboat located him, he was standing on the highest part of Mascus rocks, near Scalby Mills.
Wearing waders and a wax jacket, the fisherman had been hard to find among the big sets of waves rolling into the north bay, two hours after low tide.
Because of the surf, the inshore lifeboat crew couldn’t see the angler but the crew of the all-weather lifeboat, which was standing by, could.
Watched by hundreds of people enjoying the warm sunshine, coastguards on the beach had to let off orange smoke to indicate the man’s position to his rescuers.
The angler was carrying a rod and a rucksack and would not have been able to swim to safety, stated RNLI volunteer Peter Billingsley, who put the wave height at two metres.
Jason Hedges, who was helming the inshore lifeboat, added: “He was a good distance from the shore and the water was nearly up to his waist.
“We picked him up, ran the boat onto the beach and offloaded him,” said Mr Hedges. “He was uninjured and didn’t require medical attention.”
Ironically, the inshore lifeboat, with the same crew, had been training for just such an incident only a few hours earlier, on its weekly exercise.
“We spent the whole morning in the surf going over how to deal with exactly this situation, not knowing that only a few hours later we would be doing it for real,” said Mr Billingsley.
Coastguard Mark Jenkinson, who was watching the rescue, said: “The ILB did a fantastic job because the man was between two outcrops of rock and there was a fair bit of swell on.”
Lifeboat operations manager John Senior said anglers and other members of the public needed to take great care when venturing so far out at low tide.
“People should always treat the sea with respect and caution, especially in a situation like this, with the tide coming in,” Mr Senior said.
The third member of the inshore lifeboat crew was Gareth Oxley.