Two rescued from cliff ledge after using phone app to pinpoint location
On Friday 29 January at 6pm the volunteers of Aberystwyth lifeboat were asked to assist Dyfed Powys police and local Coastguard units to search south of Aberystwyth for two people cut off by the tide.
The station's Atlantic 85 lifeboat was quickly launched into the harbour but with a very large swell at the harbour mouth, the helm had to use all his skill to get the lifeboat and his crew safely out to sea.
The casualties had provided their location to the Coastguard using the what3words phone app.
With police officers nearby pointing torches in the direction of the casualties, the lifeboat was quickly able to ascertain the casualties were safely on a ledge approximately 20ft above the sea which had covered the beach area below.
With a very low mist, the decision was taken by the local Coastguard to attempt a cliff rescue from above, so the New Quay all weather lifeboat was tasked to assist and help in lighting up the cliffs.
The Coastguard helicopter from Caernarfon was also tasked to assist if the weather changed.
Local volunteer coastguard units from Aberystwyth and New Quay made their way to the cliff top on foot. The Aberystwyth lifeboat stayed on scene to provide safety cover below the ledge.
As the mist quickly lifted and with the wet and slippery conditions making a cliff rescue dangerous, the Coastguard helicopter was able to winch the casualties off the ledge, and land them safely.
Both casualties were cold but uninjured. New Quay all weather lifeboat was stood down before arriving on scene and returned to station. Aberystwyth remained on scene until everyone on the beach side were safe and then returned to station.
Bryn Harrison, RNLI helm for Aberystwyth lifeboat, says: ‘The casualties showed quick thinking to use the what3words app to pinpoint their location when they needed help, but we would always recommend people check the tide times before embarking into areas under the cliffs. This was a good example of team work between all agencies involved, and the rough seas showed what great capability the Atlantic 85 has.’
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.