Whitstable and Margate Lifeboats join Coastguard in Cliff Rescue.
A man who became cut off by the high tide tide during a walk along the shore between Herne Bay and Reculver was helped to safety during an operation involving three lifeboats and two coastguard rescue teams on Wednesday afternoon.
The lifeboat arrived 'on scene' and the crew sighted the casualty standing on the beach at the foot of the cliff between Bishopstone Glen and Reculver. The northwesterly force 6 winds and 1-metre swell meant that approaching the shore for the lifeboat would be difficult.
As he was clear of the water the lifeboat 'stood off' to await the arrival of the coastguard rescue teams and the Margate Atlantic 85 and D Class lifeboats that had also been tasked to assist.
On arrival the smaller Margate D class lifeboat approached the shore and the crew were able to speak to the casualty who confirmed he was alright.
After considering all the options it was decided that the on shore coastguard teams would recover the male by descending the cliff by rope and bring him up to the cliff top.
During this operation the three lifeboats remained in the area and on the successful conclusion of the operation were released to return to their stations.
Whitstable lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “ A spring tide heightened by a tidal surge had blocked off sections of the beach stranding the individual as high water approached. The strong onshore wind had created too much sea for the person to be evacuated safely by lifeboat so the CG rescue teams conducted a recovery up the cliff using rope techniques for which they are trained”.
“This incident highlights the importance of people being aware of what the tide is doing and that communications cannot always be relied upon in the vicinity of cliffs or high ground.
Notes to editors
Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.
The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.
She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.
RNLI media contacts
Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
07741 012004/ [email protected]
Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 [email protected]
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
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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 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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