Sharpness Lifeboat operates on some of the most extreme tidal water in the world. The results of these tidal ranges manifest themselves in hugely high tides and at the other end of the scale, very low water at the bottom of the ride.
When the tides are out, the whole area will dry out to rocks and sandbanks, clearly at this state of the tide, the lifeboats can not operate, however this can be one of the most dangerous rimes for the unwary or children in particular. Seeing glorious sandbnaks easily accesible at low water.
A regular occurrence is that younger people venture out on to the sands, not realizing that when the rides turns and starts to flow back in, within minutes they can be cut off from the shore by raging currents, resulting in the past, them being swept to their death.
Now that the hovercraft is stationed at Sharpness, in the event of anyone cut off on sandbanks and the lifeboat not being able to launch, the hovercraft is tasked to respond ensuring it can either bring the casualities off the sandbanks, or hovercraft crew can join the casualties on the sandbank, moving them up the bank away from the extreme tidal flow until the lifeboat has sufficent water to launch and recover them.
The hovercraft is a vital element in the life sving work of the Sharpness Lifeboat team. See demonstrations of the hovercraft throughout the weekend at the Cotswold Airport Revival Festival.