Alert as drinkers swim to Tower of Refuge

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THREE men who swam to the Tower of Refuge after a night out triggered a response from emergency rescue services.

At 4.28am on Monday port security officers reported hearing voices from the bay to staff at the Marine Operations Centre at the Sea Terminal.

By 4.33am Douglas coastguard and lifeboat had been contacted, although within ten minutes the men, estimated to be in their late teens or early twenties, had waded ashore under their own power and the lifeboat launch was cancelled.

They were assisted by coastguard officers, who issued ‘stern’ safety advice, a spokesman said.

The three men’s condition was assessed as being inebriated, cold and wet but otherwise okay. The police were not contacted.

The low water tide was at about 6.20am. The current spring tides mean very low water and high water respectively, although at that time in the morning the men would have had to swim out to Conister Rock.

There are occasions when a prosecution is pursued to recoup costs in cases of wasting coastguard time.

However, Mike MacDonald of Isle of Man Coastguard said: ‘We tend not to do that, unless it was a malicious waste of our resources.’

Mr MacDonald added the following advice to anyone considering a trip out to the Tower of Refuge: ‘Most important is to check the tides, by calling the Marine Operations Centre, and make sure someone knows where you have gone.

‘It’s also best not to try it at night after having a drink.’

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