St Agnes RNLI volunteers assist with rescue of woman injured in cliff fall
Volunteer crew from the St Agnes Lifeboat Station assisted with the rescue of an injured woman at 6.05pm on Saturday 1 July after she fell down the cliffside at Trevaunance Point.
The station crew were alerted to the casualty by her friend who had run up the beach to find help for the injured young woman. They’d been attempting to climb up a narrow vertical chimney within the cliff face when the woman slipped, falling approximately 4.5m into the crevice below.
Members of the RNLI crew alerted the St Agnes Coastguard and launched the Inshore Lifeboat Xkalibur at 6.10pm. The coastguard made the initial contact with the casualty, while the lifeboat crew stood back. It became apparent that she had suffered significant injuries, predominately to her upper leg.
Conditions at the beginning of the call out were clear, bright and sunny, with a low tide and no swell. However, a fog descended meaning that the Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopter could not be deployed, so the paramedics arrived by land. The three emergency service teams worked together to form a human chain, carrying the casualty on a stretcher across rocks to the waiting land ambulance. The rescue took approximately one and a half hours, resulting in the casualty being taken to hospital by ambulance.
The RNLI crew on duty at the time were Helm Gavin Forehead and crew members Paul Fisher, Adam Garland and Paul Kimberley. They were also assisted by several additional crew members, who are always ready to respond to call outs at any time of day.
Bruce Baker, RNLI St. Agnes Lifeboats Operations Manager, said: ‘This rescue was a fantastic example of excellent teamwork between multiple rescue teams. It just goes to show the professionalism of both our RNLI volunteers and the other emergencies services, as we worked together to achieve a positive result and provide the best care for the casualty.’
He also advised that: ‘Beach users should be aware of the hazards involving cliffs and we would strongly advise that you don’t attempt to climb up or down the cliffs. The rocks can be slippery or unstable and you could easily lose your footing. We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable time at St. Agnes, so if you’d like some beach safety advice you can speak to one of our lifeguards on arrival.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.