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40 rescued in causeway coach drama

An emergency operation had to be scrambled to save 40 people from a causeway when their coach broke down as the sea came in.

The drama unfolded at around 1pm on the causeway between Holy Island and the Northumberland mainland, 13 minutes before the safe crossing time ended.

An operation coordinated by the Humber Coastguard saw local coastguard rescue teams join the Seahouses RNLI crew, the RAF rescue helicopter from Boulmer and Northumbria Police officers.

Police rescued 38 elderly people and two others from the coach and took them back to the mainland.

Graham Dawson, Humber Coastguard watch manager, said: "Breakdowns are just one of those things that happen.

"Unfortunately it happened in the worst possible place but the police and our Coastguard rescue teams were on hand to save the day."

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