Minehead RNLI lifeboats rescue injured angler

Lifeboats News Release

An angler who suffered severe hand injuries in a fall onto rocks was rescued in a joint operation by Minehead’s two RNLI lifeboats this morning (Saturday).

The 29-year old was trying to get to remote Selworthy Sands, which lie at the foot of 800-foot cliffs, for a morning’s fishing.

Virtually the only access to the beach is via a fixed rope leading down a gully next to Hurlestone Point. As he reached the bottom of the rope the man slipped, fell just over a metre and badly injured his hand on a sharp rock as he tried to break his descent.

After his friend dialled 999 for help Minehead’s Atlantic 85 and D class lifeboats launched and quickly located him. Two of the volunteer crew swam ashore to assess his injury. He was then taken off the rocky beach by the D class, transferred to the Atlantic 85 and quickly returned to Minehead and handed over to a waiting ambulance crew.

Crew member Jim Whittaker said the man had been highly relieved when rescue arrived.

'The bottom part of the rope is almost permanently wet and he simply lost his grip and his hand went down onto a very, very sharp rock,' he said.

'Due to his injury, he realised there was no way he was going to be able to climb back up the way he came down and luckily his friend was there to call for help.'

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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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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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