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RNLI issues rock fall warning after woman injured near Harlyn

Lifeguards News Release

The RNLI is reminding beachgoers about the risk of falling rocks from eroding cliffs after a woman was seriously injured from a rock fall near Harlyn.


The casualty was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital

Lifeguards were just setting up for their patrols at Harlyn at around 10am on Tuesday 20 June when they were alerted to a woman who had been injured by a rock fall at a neighbouring bay.

The casualty had just arrived at the beach with her family, who were holidaying in the area, when there was a rock fall.

As first responders RNLI lifeguards provided initial treatment to the casualty at the scene during the multi-agency response.

The casualty was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth where she is in a stable condition and receiving further treatment for the injuries sustained.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Leon Bennett said: ‘We are pleased to hear that the woman involved is recovering well from her injuries. Her family did the right thing in immediately alerting the emergency services and lifeguards at Harlyn to the situation. This meant the woman could be treated quickly and effectively.’

The incident happened at a small cove known locally as Boat Bay, which is not patrolled by the RNLI. Nobody else was injured in the rock fall.

Leon added: ‘This incident highlights that cliff falls can happen at any time without warning and present a risk to people on top of the cliffs or exploring the beach below. Rock falls happen more often than you may think and the RNLI advises people to stay well away from cliff edges and the base of cliffs as these falls are a natural part of coastal erosion and do not just happen in bad weather.’

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RNLI lifeguards treated the woman at the scene


RNLI lifeguards were just starting their patrols when they were alerted to the rock fall


The casualty had just arrived at the beach when the incident happened


The casualty was airlifted to Derriford Hospital


There was a multi-agency response

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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 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.

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