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Day’s second shout brings cliff rescue for Minehead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Two people trapped by the incoming tide at the foot of 800-foot cliffs were rescued by Minehead’s RNLI lifeboat crew, answering their second call in a day on Monday.

The couple - a brother and sister in their 20s - had scrambled over rocks around the base of Hurlestone Point at the eastern end of Porlock Bay.

But they found their way back blocked by the tide and became stranded about 10 metres up the cliff as they tried to scale it.

Minehead’s volunteer crew launched the station’s D class just after 5pm in response to their 999 call. Coastguards initially proposed a rope rescue, but the sea conditions were calm enough for the lifeboat crew to nose the boat into a rocky beach just below the couple.

Helm Richard Gay said: “They were obviously a bit nervous but we managed to persuade them to come slowly down the cliff backwards - then got them into the boat and put them ashore.

“They were clearly very grateful. It was a nasty place to be stuck: the tide was still coming in and it was clear they had no hope of going any higher from the spot where they were trapped.”

Four hours earlier the Minehead crew had launched the station’s Atlantic 85 to evacuate a seriously seasick angler from a fishing boat moored half a mile off the station.

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

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.