Sunday, 26 July 2009

Holy Island

I was fascinated by this story on the BBC - particularly as we actually spent some time on Holy Island this week.

Basically, on average one car a month ignores the huge number of warning signs and doesn't bother to check the tide times before setting off to or from the island. The cars end up cutting out when they hit the rising water and the people are stranded and need to be winched to safety by helicopter. At a cost of around £4000 a time.

I checked the tide times before we left Newcastle. Twice. I knew for sure that we were driving over right in the middle of the safe period. And I knew we were leaving about 20 minutes before the safe period ended. And both times I had to stop myself from actually stopping to check the tide times where they are posted at each end of the Causeway - it was quite clear that it was safe.

So I don't understand what makes people take chances like that. It's not even people on their own - often there are children in the car. It's bad enough if you take chances with your own life - although I'd love to see people billed for their rescues if they have clearly been negligent - but why would you risk the lives of your children?

Having said that, I'd hate to see the Causeway raised, or a bridge built. The first time we visited the island, we stayed on while the tide came in and wandered round. The islanders are right - it's the thought of being cut off from the world that gives the island its magical quality. No ferries, no cars (where is there to drive on such a small island?) - just peace and quiet, maybe a drink or a meal in the pub. A walk in the solitude.

I'd highly recommend a visit there if you are ever in Northumberland. But don't say I didn't warn you about the safe crossing times.

More information on Holy Island from Wikipedia.


Dave said...

Beth - thanks I appreciate this; bizarrely enough I am hoping to go next weekend with some relatives; first time I've been for years. I will use the Crossing Times link you provide.

Yes it's completely unbelievable that people will put themselves (especially kids) at risk like that - well said.

Cheers, Dave

B said...

dave - hope you got there and back safely!

Helen said...

Had a conversation with hubby earlier today about where we want to go when we travel up north in a few weeks. I knew there was an island that was tidal, but couldn't remember its name. Then I start catching up on my blogs and find your post.

Long story short, thanks very much!