Aberystwyth RNLI’s newest crew member helps to rescue injured cliff faller

Lifeboats News Release

Whilst out on exercise on Saturday the 12th of June, Aberystwyths Atlantic 85 lifeboat with the stations newest crew member onboard were diverted to a person who had been seen falling 30-40 feet down the cliffs South of Aberystwyth.

The volunteer RNLI crew were partway through their training exercise at 3:15pm when the Coastguard informed the lifeboat they had received a 999 call from a member of the public walking along the beach who had seen a person tumbling down the cliff. The crew immediately stopped their exercise and diverted to assist the fallen person. On board the lifeboat was Iwan Roberts one the stations newest trainee crew and now on his first shout!

With a low tide and knowledge of the rocky area, the helm Ian Richards immediately requested that the Aranica inshore lifeboat also be launched from the station to assist.

The Atlantic crew were quickly on scene and two crew members swam ashore with the first aid kit and quickly located the casualty thanks to the member of the public who had made the 999 call and stayed with the casualty. The casualty was conscious and the crew began to work through their casualty care assessment when the Arancia arrived on scene with a further three crew to assist.

A helicopter had also been requested and as the crew were finalising stabilising the casualty into a stretcher, the Air Ambulance (Helimed) arrived on scene and was able to land on the beach North of the casualty site. One of the crew went to meet the helimed crew and Aberystwyth volunteer Coastguard team who were also arriving on scene at the same time and gave a detailed handover of the casualties condition to the helimed medics.

As soon as the Helimed team were happy, Lifeboat and Coastguard crew carried the casualty to the waiting Air Ambulance where they were transferred to hospital. The lifeboat crew returned to the boats and returned to station for a clean down and debrief.

As well as being the first shout for Crewman Iwan Roberts it was also the first rescue as Arancia Helm for Ian Brandreth who had recently passed out as helmsman.

Helm Paul Williams said "The casualty was extremely fortunate that the first informant had seen the fall otherwise the outcome could have been very different as that area of beach would have been covered by the next high tide. He should be very proud, he certainly helped save a life today"

Iwan said "I was very happy to be at the right place at the right time. It was great to see how all our rescue services worked together in order to rescue the person in distress. The team does an amazing job at keeping everyone safe and I am keen to continue my training. We are so lucky to have these people in our community and it makes me proud to be a part of it."

Earlier in the day whilst also out on exercise a different crew aboard the lifeboat had also been tasked to assist a broken down sailing boat that was in danger of being pushed onto the rocks at the harbour entrance known as the trap. The lifeboat was quickly able to get the vessel under tow and bring it safely back into the harbour before continuing with their exercise.

RNLI/Paul McCann

Arancia arriving on scene

RNLI/Paul McCann

RNLI/Paul McCann

Crew returning to the Lifeboats

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.

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