A male swimmer was rescued by RNLI helicopter and HM Coastguard this morning after swimming over the seawall into the estuary during the overtopping tide; he was subsequently dragged by the rip and pulled downstream in the ebb, 40 minutes after high tide, which was at 7.43am. Fortunately, he is reported to be fine.
It is dangerous to access the lake to swim during overtopping tides. A strong rip is created on the estuary side of the seawall, which can quickly sweep swimmers away from the lake and into the tidal flow.
Clevedon Marine Lake in nestled in the Severn Estuary, which has the third largest tidal range in the world. This means that the sea at Clevedon has an extremely strong tidal pull.
The sea overtops the outer wall of Clevedon Marine Lake at the top of high spring tides of 12.6m or more – refreshing the water in the lake. The lake becomes part of the Severn Estuary and the seawall is no longer visible. In addition, the lower promenade can completely disappear underwater during overtops.
Clevedon Marine Lake overtops approximately every two weeks during spring tides. Spring tides have the greatest tidal range and occur during the full moon and the new moon phases, twice each lunar month all year long without regard to the season. In rougher conditions, fresh seawater will spill into the lake before a high tide of 12.6m is reached.
- Always check tide times and heights when planning your lake visit. A series of overtops at high tide can last a full week.
- Know which way the tide is flowing (in or out) when you arrive at the lake.
- Do NOT enter the lake around high tide when 12.6m or higher tides are expected.
As we approach the peak months for usage of Clevedon Marine Lake – coinciding with the expected easing of lockdown, Marlens, the charity behind the lake, urges people to heed all the advice on site and on the lake website.
During lockdown, Clevedon Marine Lake has remained open for individual exercise, with visitors reminded to maintain a distance of at least 2m from each other. Users have been requested to access the lake grounds responsibly, in line with Government guidelines and to avoid unnecessary travel.