Morecambe Bay cockler
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'Desperation' of Morecambe Bay's cockle survivor

It is 10 years since the Morecambe Bay cockling tragedy when the notorious tides and channels claimed the lives of 23 Chinese cockle workers.

Hundreds of people worked the sands in search for cockles, but the Chinese illegal immigrants were controlled by a gangmaster who had little knowledge of the bay's dangers or concern for their safety.

On 5 February 2004 the Chinese workers were cut off in the dark by the incoming tide.

Inside Out's reporter Peter Marshall talks to cockle picker Li Hua, the only man to be rescued alive from the waters that night.

He was within seconds of becoming a victim himself, trapped while attempting to help others who would not survive the night.

Li Hua now lives under witness protection, courtesy of the new UK Protected Persons Service, having given evidence in the criminal trial that followed the tragedy.

Read more: The scars of Morecambe's cockling disaster

Inside Out is broadcast on Monday, 3 February at 19:30 GMT on BBC One North West and nationwide for seven days thereafter on the iPlayer.

  • 03 Feb 2014
  • From the section England
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