THE Hoylake RNLI hovercraft was asked to launch by the UK Coastguard at 12.15pm today when a member of the public reported four people had been cut off by the incoming tide halfway between Leasowe Castle and Moreton Common.

The group had been trying to wade through a deep gutter to reach the shore.

Hoylake Hovercraft Hurley Spirit and her volunteer crew launched quickly and headed to the scene.

An RNLI spokesman said: "The RNLI hovercraft crew searched along the gutter as far as Leasowe Castle, but there was no sign of the casualties.

"Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team had also been tasked and carried out a search from the shore, but could not locate the group.

"During their search, the hovercraft crew spotted another two people with two dogs on a small sandbank in the middle of the channel into Meols just east of Leasowe Lighthouse.

"They were unaware that they had been cut off by the tide. The hovercraft crew advised the pair of their situation and safely escorted them and their dogs through the knee-deep water to the embankment."

The hovercraft then resumed its search for the original casualties and after searching back as far as Barber’s Folly, the Coastguard concluded that the casualties must have made it ashore safely. The hovercraft was stood down and returned to station."