THE RNLI crew from Lyme Regis launched to the aid of a couple who were caught off by the tide at the exact time England began a nail-biting penalty shootout against Switzerland.

The volunteer crew were tasked by HM Coastguard and launched the inshore lifeboat Spirit of Loch Fyne at  7:30 pm just as the England football team began their penalty shoot-out in the Euro 2024 quarter-final.

The two people were quickly located by the lifeboat crew and were found to be fit, well and perfectly happy to remain on the beach for one to two hours until the tide receded.

In command of the lifeboat was Lyme Regis RNLI’s newest Helm Mark Ellis.

He said: "This was my second shout as the helm in charge of the lifeboat and it was a relatively quick one.

"We located the casualties very soon after leaving Lyme Regis harbour and were able to communicate with them directly.

"They were well aware of the tide times and were happy to remain on the beach until high tide had passed."

The volunteer crew returned to Lyme Regis at 7:50 pm.

On their way back to harbour Coastguard colleagues informed them by radio the good news that England had won the penalty shoot-out.

A spokesperson for Lyme Regis RNLI added: "The stretch of coast between Lyme Regis and Charmouth is very popular with walkers and fossil hunters, but points along it can be cut off by the rising tide.

"Anyone who finds themself in difficulty should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

"This was the 20th service call for the volunteers of Lyme Regis RNLI in 2024, the year in which the lifesaving charity celebrates its 200th anniversary."