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Porthcawl RNLI rescues climber from cliff

Lifeguards News Release

A climber who got into difficulty whilst climbing with a friend on a cliff face near West Farm, Southerndown was rescued by Porthcawl RNLI volunteers on Wednesday evening (31 August 2022).

Porthcawl RNLI’s volunteer crew were out on training exercise onboard the charity’s inshore lifeboats, the Atlantic 85 Rose of the Shires and D class Hugo Missen when HM Coastguard requested they divert to the incident. The crews onboard both lifeboats made best speed to the location in order to locate the climber, assess the situation and see if it was possible to extract the climber at the base of the cliffs. Llantwit Major Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked to the incident.

The crew onboard the Atlantic 85 lifeboat were first to arrive on scene.

Helm Sam Williams said:

‘Once we arrived on scene I assessed the situation. I knew we needed to act quickly as the sun had just set and we were losing light rapidly. Being near to high water I was able to manoeuvre the lifeboat in close enough to the base of the cliff for the climber to be able to lower themselves to a ledge and climb from there onto the lifeboat.

‘The casualty's friend climbed back up to the top of the cliff whilst being monitored and provided with floodlight illumination by our D Class lifeboat crew. Once the casualty's friend reached the top of the cliff he was met by the rescue team from Llantwit Major Coastguard.

‘Llantwit Major Coastguard Rescue Team and the casualty's friend then relocated to Dunraven Bay, Southerndown ready to meet the casualty where he was dropped ashore onto the slipway by the D Class lifeboat.

‘When the climbers realised one of them needed help they did the right thing by calling the Coastguard on 999 and requesting assistance. With the light fading rapidly time was of the essence and we were glad to have been able to get there so quickly and help the casualty to safety.

‘In an emergency at the coast dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Porthcawl RNLI

Atlantic 85 manoeuvres towards the base of the cliff

Porthcawl RNLI

Crew member prepares to check the depth as the lifeboat manoeuvres to the base of the cliff

Porthcawl RNLI

Crew member checks depth as the Atlantic 85 manoeuvres to the base of the cliff

Porthcawl RNLI

Crew members prepare to help the climber aboard the Atlantic 85 lifeboat

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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