Trapped charity walker snatched to safety by Minehead RNLI
Lifeboat officials in Minehead have issued renewed warnings about the risks of being cut off by the tide after their volunteer crew rescued a man from the foot of the highest sea cliffs in England today.
The Lyme Regis man, who is in his late 50s, had been following the South West Coast Path on a charity walk to Land’s End.
But east of Foreland Point, near Lynmouth, he decided to complete the next stage of the route along a boulder-strewn beach – and found himself trapped by the tide.
After he had phoned coastguards for help Minehead’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched – responding to its 43rd call of the year - and after battling rough seas for 14 miles the crew eventually spotted him.
They dropped their anchor to veer down closer to the shore and crew member Jake Sanderson swam in with a line to get the man off. The casualty was later landed unharmed at Minehead.
Minehead lifeboat officials have recently launched a campaign to warn of the dangers of walking under cliffs in the Bristol Channel, which has the second highest tidal range in the world.
And, said RNLI Minehead chairman Bryan Stoner: “This is a classic case of how quickly what appears to be a perfectly safe situation can become a perilous one once the tide comes in.
“It’s a tribute to the skills of the crew that they were able to get in to a location such as this and extract the casualty in conditions which were, to say the least, very challenging.”
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.