On Tuesday evening (13th July) at 6.10pm the pagers sounded and the crew rushed to the station to reports of four casualties cut off by the tide near Dizzard
Whilst walking the South West Coast Path the casualties had gone down onto the beach believing it to be the route of the footpath and expecting to find another path ascending from the beach.
Unfortunately whilst walking the tide had started to come in and cut them off, leaving them stranded with no hope of being able to get up the cliff.
Within minutes of the shout volunteer RNLI crew launched both the inshore lifeboat
George Bird and the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) and made their way towards Dizzard point.
Arriving on scene the lifeboat crew immediately asked for the coastguard to be tasked. After assessing the situation the volunteer RNLI crew felt it would be best if the coast guard could extract the casualties and lead them up the cliff as the swell, breaking waves and rocks would make it difficult for the lifeboat crew to recover the casualties.
Once the coastguard arrived on scene it quickly became apparent that they were unable to extract the casualties. Their location made it impossible for the coast guard to reach them and unfortunately Rescue 924 was tasked elsewhere.
With the tide still rising the RNLI crew decided to extract the casualties and get them into the lifeboat.
Due to the surf conditions the lifeboat wasn't able to get close enough, but being able to navigate closer to the shore, the RWC was manoeuvred into position by Liam Sharpe allowing Dave James to reach the casualties. After providing the casualties with life jackets and assessing they were all fit and able, Dave began extracting the casualties.
One at a time they were helped over the rocks, through the water and breaking waves to the rescue sled on the back of the RWC and taken to the lifeboat. Helm Mike Tame and crew members Kimberley Ellis and Collette Reeves undertook a medical assessment and took care of them.
Once all four casualties were safe in the lifeboat they headed back on the long journey to Bude. Despite their ordeal the casualties were in good spirits and able to enjoy the wildlife, including spotting a sunfish, on the journey back.
Well done to all the lifeboat crew and shore crew for a successful rescue. A special mention goes out to Dave James for extracting the casualties safely in tricky conditions and to Collette Reeves who was on her first shout as lifeboat crew - it was certainly one to remember! Thanks also to new shore crew volunteer Matt Wonnacott, who when he's not volunteering at the RNLI lifeboat station is a taxi driver, for giving the casualties a lift back to their campsite in his taxi.
Cornwall has many lovely beaches that are only accessible at low tide so always keep an eye on your surroundings and if you get into any difficulty remember to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
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