Mawgan Porth RNLI lifeguards rescue four people trapped on a dangerous cliff

Lifeguards News Release

Another hot day across the south west, coupled with spring tides and heavy water movement resulted in an escalating, time critical incident

RNLI Newquay

RNLI lifeguards who rescued climbers at Mawgan Porth

Mawgan Porth RNLI lifeguards were alerted to an incident late yesterday afternoon (25 June) after spotting four people attempting to climb down a rugged cliff on the south side of the beach.

RNLI lifeguards at Mawgan Porth beach were getting ready to pack down for the day when they spotted four people scrambling down the south cliffs causing great concern. Senior lifeguard, Tom Houghton, immediately used the PA system to attract the climbers’ attention and warn them of the dangers. They continued to scramble down the jagged cliffs, which is not a marked out or recommended coastal walk route. Moments later, they appeared to be stuck in one place in significant difficulty.

The lifeguards immediately dropped the flags, asked bathers to get out the sea and launched the rescue water craft (RWC). RNLI lifeguard, Theresa Morokutti, was at the waters edge and recommended an alternative route for the climbers to get out of difficulty but they failed to move. Theresa reacted imminently and entered the water in her red and yellow uniform and began to swim towards the rocks. Two of the climbers had no choice but to enter the water and awaited help on the very sharp rocks. The waves were hammering in across the rocks and were close to knocking the climbers off their feet. Luckily, Theresa had reached the climbers very quickly and accompanied them back to safety, returning to shore. A surfer nearby also assisted the climbers by providing them with his surfboard to use as a floatation device to help contain their breath.

Meanwhile, the RWC, with senior lifeguard Tom Houghton and Stuart Weatherly afloat, provided back up and reassurance throughout the entire rescue whilst battling the large set waves and looking for the other two climbers. RNLI lifeguard, Finley Mann, was also in constant communication with his team from the beach lifeguard unit.

Once the lifeguards and casualties had returned to shore, the two climbers at the beach confirmed that their friends had managed to clamber back up the cliff and were spotted at the top wearing bright clothes. Theresa suffered a nasty cut on her leg and went to minor injuries following the incident.

The casualties were debriefed and given safety advice from the RNLI lifeguards.

Tom Houghton added, ‘Theresa made a time critical decision on the spot and reacted in a way that effectively saved the climbers from a much more dangerous situation. With the flooding tide and large set waves, Theresa acted in an amazing, courageous manner and I’m incredibly proud of how the whole team responded and worked together.’

Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember and follow RNLI safety advice:

· Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage

· Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water

· Do not allow your family to swim or surf alone

· Do not use inflatables

· If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and FLOAT

· In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Notes to Editors

· Please find attached an image of Mawgan Porth lifeguards who attended the incident · Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/beaches-with-lifeguards-on-patrol · To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donateMawgan Porth RNLI lifeguards were alerted to an incident late yesterday afternoon (25 June) after spotting four people attempting to climb down a rugged cliff on the south side of the beach.


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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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