HOLY ISLAND, England — The off-duty police officer was confident he could make it back to the mainland without incident, despite islanders warning him not to risk the incoming tide.
“Nah,” the officer was reported to have said. “That’s just to frighten the tourists.”
About a half-hour later, he “was standing on the roof of his VW Golf car with a rescue helicopter above him, with a winch coming down to scoop him, his wife and his child to safety,” said Ian Clayton, from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a nonprofit organization whose inflatable lifeboat is often called on to rescue the reckless.
Few events in life are as certain as the tide that twice daily cascades across the causeway that connects Holy Island with the English coastline, temporarily severing its link to the mainland.
Yet for some, it still manages to come as a surprise.