PENARTH saw exceptional tides over last weekend, leaving the pier completely exposed.

The rise and fall of the tides in Penarth are one of the largest in the world, second only to the Bay of Fundy in Canada.

Exceptionally high and low tides arrived over the course of the week, peaking on September 30.

The high tide mark reached up to 13.5m in height on Sunday and Monday, while low tide saw the sea retreat to just 20cm.

The tides were so low it left Penarth Pier completely exposed – resembling a freestanding structure.

A spokesman for Penarth RNLI said: “We made assessments on Tuesday this week of the tide heights, and although the tide heights are falling the wind picked up and made for some interesting boat recoveries.

Launching our lifeboat and recovering vessels in these conditions is important part of training, so we can be sure we are always prepared if a shout happens.

“We were also very lucky that the winds were low on Sunday and Monday which meant that the sea didn’t overtop Penarth Esplanade when it reached its highest tide point.

“That said we weren’t out of the woods – on Wednesday night, although the tide was lower the wind picked up, and you can see the result.”

The tides will soon see lower extremes, settling at highs of 10m and lows of 3.9m over the weekend.