Penarth RNLI crews rescue woman and child from cliff face after tidal cut off

Lifeboats News Release

Penarth RNLI lifeboat volunteers have been praised for the skill they showed in rescuing a woman and a child who had scrambled up a cliff face after being cut off by the tide.

Both of Penarth RNLI's lifeboats were launched at about 6.30pm last night (Tuesday 16 August) to reports of people cut off by the tide at St Mary's Well Bay. 

The two lifeboats located two different groups of people cut off by tide in the area. The crew of the bigger Atlantic 85 class lifeboat made a decision to prioritise a woman and a boy who were in the most danger. They had started to climb the cliff to escape the incoming tide and were stuck on the sheer cliff over the water.

The smaller D-class lifeboat was tasked to recover the pair from the rocks and carefully manoeuvred under an unstable rock face to recover the people from the cliff and into the lifeboat. They then returned them to St Mary's Well Bay and into the care of HM Coastguard teams from Penarth.

Once the woman and boy were safe the lifeboats were able to return to the other cut off group and bring them to safety as well.

Also on scene was the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter, which maintained an overview of the situation.

Jason Dunlop, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Penarth RNLI, said: 'The manoeuvre to evacuate the woman and child from the cliff face was very skilful and very brave in my view, considering the risk of rock fall from the unstable cliff face.

'This type of shout is what we spend hours of training for and the team demonstrated great skill in communication, command, leadership, boat-handling and decision making.'

He added: 'With this recent spell of good weather we would encourage people to check the tide times and understand the risk before setting out on walks along the shore.'

Notes to editors:
The attached pictures and video show the rescue of the woman and child cut off by the tide at St Mary's Well Bay.
For further information please contact Andy Berry, Penarth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07951 051128 or Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on

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