Minehead RNLI lifeboat crew rescue casualty in cliff fall

Lifeboats News Release

Holidaymakers have been warned to avoid climbing around headlands on the Exmoor coast after one man’s adventuring went badly wrong.

The 35-year old had to be rescued in a joint operation by two volunteer lifeboat crews from Minehead and a coastguard helicopter on Sunday night.

He had been trying to clamber around Hurlestone Point, at the eastern end of Porlock Bay, when he slipped and fell, injuring his head.

Friends who were with him raised the alarm and both Minehead’s lifeboats were launched just after 7pm.

The man was quickly located at the base of a gully, conscious but in pain. The crew gave him first aid then placed him in a stretcher and moved him to a more accessible spot from where he could be winched into the helicopter and taken to hospital for a check-up.

Minehead RNLI local operations manager Dr John Higgie said locations such as Hurlestone Point and other headlands between Minehead and Ilfracombe were best avoided.

'People such as anglers who frequent them regularly know their way around them – but they are also very well aware of the dangers,' he said.

'Clearly the casualty tonight was in a pretty perilous position: injured, at the bottom of a cliff and with the tide coming in. Luckily the people who were with him had some means of raising the alarm and fortunately we were able to get to him in time.

'But his situation illustrates very well the danger people can find themselves in simply as a result of missing one step.

We want people to continue enjoying our local coastline but the rule must always be to stick to the marked footpaths and not to take any chances.'

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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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