Four people were rescued from the beach below the cliffs at Beachy on Saturday night by the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboats after they became cut off by the incoming tide.
The group had set out for an evening walk along the shoreline but had miscalculated the tides and when one of them sustained a serious ankle injury their situation became serious. Trapped on the beach at a location known as Shooters Bottom they were driven to the foot of the cliffs by the incoming tide and with no mobile phone signal were unable to call for help. One of the group scrambled over dangerous rocks in a desperate attempt to obtain a signal, meanwhile family and friends were frantically searching the area in the gathering gloom. Police and HM Coastguard were eventually contacted and the alarm was raised. Both Eastbourne lifeboats were scrambled along with coastguard rescue helicopter 163. When on scene a paramedic crewman from the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was taken ashore to assist the injured walker. With a suspected broken ankle her injury was stabilised, she was then transferred via the inshore lifeboat to the ALB (pictured above) along with the other three remaining walkers. The other walker was meanwhile being cared for by the local coastguard team. With all the casualties safe aboard the ALB the rescue helicopter was stood down. The casualties were taken to the ALB station where they were reunited with their anxious families.
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.