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Beach Safety

This information has been provided to us by the Fleetwood Coastguard. Please read before visiting.

Welcome to Fleetwood.  The southernmost point of Morecambe Bay with views of the Lake District to the north.

When the tide is out, the water’s edge is almost 2 miles away to the north.  Although it looks flat, the sands are very uneven and there are several major gullies which you can’t see right now. There is a danger of being cut off if you go too far away from the beach.  Also, the sea doesn’t come in the way you would expect. It approaches from all directions. 

The beach is generally speaking quite firm to walk on, but further out there are occasionally soft patches of sand or mud which could cause a few concerns.

If you find yourself or the beach wheelchair sinking into it, just calmly follow this advice:

  1. Stop

  2. Walk backwards onto the firmer sand behind you. Don’t try to turn the chair around until you have reached firm ground.

  3. If you or the chair start sinking further, don’t panic. It won’t swallow you up like in the movies. Humans ‘float’ in quicksand or mud.

  4. Drop to your knees and shuffle backwards.  You have reduced your ground pressure and shouldn’t sink any deeper.

  5. If you’re having a really bad day and you do sink a bit deeper, sit down or lay down and you will stop sinking. Don’t wriggle or fight it. Move slowly and crawl if necessary.

  6. It is unlikely that the beach wheelchair will sink very far as the balloon tyres float.   There is a small chance it could tip over, but if it does, start at number 4 above.

If in doubt at any stage, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.  Tell them you are on the beach at Fleetwood and the Rescue Team will be with you very quickly.


The tides at Fleetwood are some of the biggest and fastest in the world.  However, you’re quite safe.  They come and go approximately twice a day and follow a 2 week cycle of big and small tides.

They start to fill the gulleys soon after Low Water (LW) and cover the majority of the sand you can see about mid-way between LW and High Water (HW).

The rising water accelerates and doesn’t come in at a constant speed.  When it starts to cover the banks it is coming in fastest and it then slows down towards HW.


Our simple advice is to be off the banks and back on the beach no more than 2 hrs after LW although here is a more technical explanation of the tide pattern ...


Tides follow the ‘Rule of 12’. Coming in is called the ‘flood’ and going out is the ‘ebb’. The brief periods of no movement whilst it changes direction are called ‘slack water’ and occur at both LW and HW.


Tide times are followed by a tide height.

For example:             LW 06:05 1.2m         HW 11:54 10.2m

This means that today the tide is fully out at 06:05 and fully in at 11:54 and will rise 9.0m (10.2m – 1.2m) in just under 6 hrs. It comes in 1/12 in the first hour, another 2/12 in the second and another 3/12 in the third.  Then it slows down at the same rate another 3/12 in the fourth, 2/12 in the fifth and a final 1/12 in the sixth. It goes out in a similar way.

In this example it would rise 0.75m + 1.5m + 2.25m + 2.25m + 1.5m + 0.75m during the 6hrs of flood.  As you can see, it moves fastest, and therefore deeper, in the third and fourth hours.


We would like to thank Fleetwood Coastguard and the RNLI for their support, and that of their colleagues around the Country, keeping us all safe as we enjoy the beaches and coastal waters.

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