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Trapped charity walker snatched to safety by Minehead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

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 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