Bude RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch the inshore lifeboat George Bird and the Rescue Water Craft on Monday 15th July.
Falmouth coastguard requested the launch after reports that a 10 year old boy was stuck on the cliffs at Compass Point, Bude. Twenty lifeboat and shore crew volunteers responded to the shout and were at the lifeboat station within minutes. The D class lifeboat was launched with volunteer Dean Thompson as Helm, Brown Cardoo on communications and James Lewis Bale as crew. The Rescue Water Craft, providing valuable extra crew members, was also launched with crew volunteers Dave James and Charlie Green on board. Both vessels were launched at 6.50pm reaching the scene within five minutes.
The volunteer lifeboat crew could see one casualty stuck 125 foot up the cliff unable to move, with a second casualty above in a slightly better position. Detailed information was relayed to Falmouth Coast Guard. In light of the position of the casualties, and the loose cliff face, rope rescue was not a viable option and Rescue Helicopter 924 was tasked to respond. At the request of Falmouth Coast Guard both the inshore lifeboat and the Rescue Water Craft remained on scene. Rescue helicopter 924 winched one casualty to safety and the second casualty was able to make his way to the cliff top unaided.
There was further drama for the volunteer lifeboat and Rescue Water Craft (RWC) crew while they were at sea. Whilst rescue helicopter 924 was winching the casualty, volunteer Helm Dean Thompson saw black smoke billowing from above Summerleaze beach. The crew realised that it was coming from The Deck bar and restaurant, owned by fellow crew member Charlie Green, who was on board the Rescue Water Craft.
It was a nervous wait while the rescue concluded and the lifeboat and rescue water craft made their way back Summerleaze Beach. As soon as the boat was recovered Charlie Green, in full lifeboat crew kit, ran back to his business to check that everyone was safe and assess the damage. Thankfully no one was injured and the damage to the kitchen is relatively minor.
Chris Wilson, Bude RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'This rescue goes to show how dedicated our volunteer crew are. Within just minutes of their pagers going off 20 volunteers from both lifeboat and shore crews had arrived at the lifeboat station. Even when witnessing an emergency unfolding involving a crew mate's business they remained focused on the task of ensuring the casualty's safety as the priority. I'd like to thank all the Bude RNLI lifeboat crew and shore crew for their continued dedication to their voluntary roles.'
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, 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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