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Walker rescued after all-night ordeal

Lifeboats News Release

A 69-year old walker was rescued by volunteer lifeboat crews from Minehead this morning (Sunday) after spending all night trapped at an Exmoor beauty spot.

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The woman was reported to have not returned home on Saturday evening after setting out to walk the South West Coast path from Minehead to Porlock.

A search was carried out by a coastguard helicopter and shore teams but they failed to locate her.

At first light this morning Minehead’s RNLI lifeboats were launched to join the operation and within minutes crews spotted the woman on rocks at Hurlestone Point.

She was taken off by Minehead’s D class lifeboat and transferred to the station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, before being taken back to Minehead and checked over by the station’s Local Operations Manager Dr John Higgie.

He said the woman, who lives in Porlock, was cold but otherwise none the worse for her all-night ordeal.

“She is an experienced walker and often uses this section of the coast path,” he said.

“Unfortunately just as it was getting dark last night she slipped and fell a few feet, but she decided to do the sensible thing and stay where she was and wait for help to come.”


Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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