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St Bees RNLI in cliff rescue

Lifeboats News Release

The St Bees RNLI volunteers were called away from their usual Tuesday evening training exercise to go to the aid of a mountain biker who had fallen 30 feet down cliffs near St Bees lighthouse.

It started off as a regular Tuesday night training exercise for the volunteers at St Bees RNLI and finished as a medical emergency involving Whitehaven HM Coastguard, local NHS Paramedics, Cumbria Police and the Air Ambulance.

The crew of St Bees were practicing their boat handling skills inside Whitehaven Harbour when the call came from UK Coastguard to locate a casualty near the base of the cliffs close to St Bees lighthouse. A member of the public who was on holiday in the area approached some of the lifeboat crew who were at the lifeboat station to say they had seen a male mountain biker lying injured near the lighthouse with possible head injuries. The duty officers at St Bees lifeboat station contacted UK Coastguard who then set the rescue process in motion.

The RNLI volunteer crew made their way out of the harbour and quickly located the fallen mountain biker. Two of the crew then went ashore and administered first aid and stabilised the casualty. Once the NHS Paramedics and Whitehaven Coastguard arrived the RNLI crew handed the casualty over to them. The two RNLI volunteers then returned to the lifeboat, which remained at the scene until it was stood down by UK Coastguard.

Dick Beddows, St Bees RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said ‘This was another great example of multi agency co-operation. I would also like to thank the member of the public who initially informed us of the incident. If you do see any one in trouble along the coast or at sea always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard’.

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland