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  Tide tragedy kills cockle pickers
Updated 06 February 2004, 19.12
People have been killed pickling cockles
Nineteen cockle pickers have died after becoming trapped by tides in Morecambe Bay, Lancashire.

It happened when around 25 people - thought to be Chinese who don't speak English - were caught by rising water.

People can earn hundreds of pounds a day picking cockles, but the sands and tides in Morecombe are very dangerous for people who don't know about them.

They got into trouble on Thursday, and coastguards, lifeboats and the RAF have been searching for survivors all night.

Morecombe Bay, Lancashire
Cockle picking has become a controversial issue in the area, because there are no rules to stop anyone doing it.

The cockles in the Bay are thought to be worth around 6m, and that has brought people from long distances to work there.

But the people heading for the area know little about the dangers of going onto the sand and the tides.

Police are investigating whether the cockle pickers were working illegally.

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