[UK]Coastguard winchman landing on narrow ledge to rescue two walkers

On 2 November the two walkers raised the alarm at 2.45pm after making a 999 call to the coastguard explaining that they were in a hard to reach location on the western side of Nash Point, five metres above the rising tide.

Llanwit Major coastguard rescue team, Porthcawl RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats and the St Athan coastguard helicopter were all sent to the scene.

Due to the precarious position they were in, the women were airlifted by the helicopter to the top of the cliff where they were met by the waiting coastguard rescue team. Thankfully they were safe and well and required no medical treatment.

Olly Padbury, chief pilot for the St Athan coastguard helicopter said: ‘This mission was an excellent example of how well our coastguard rescue teams and the RNLI work together to protect those on our coastline. The winching was made difficult by the overhanging cliff, but the winch operator did brilliantly to get our winchman to the trapped walkers. It was great to be able to help the walkers, who both did the right thing by calling for help and then staying put.

‘The rescue could have been much more dangerous had they tried to climb up the cliff or jumped into the water. The coastline in that area looks so inviting at low tide, but many people get caught out by how fast the tide rises in the Bristol Channel. Hopefully this rescue will remind others to consider the tide before walking along the water’s edge.’

HM coastguard duty controller, Aimee Rampton: ‘These walkers did exactly the right thing to call the coastguard as soon as they realised they were getting into difficulty.

‘It’s easy to get caught up in enjoying time on the beach or exploring coastal areas but make sure you keep a careful eye on the sea which can easily catch you out - even those with extensive knowledge of tides.

‘By following a few simple safety tips from the UK coastguard, we can make sure that people get the most of their trip to the coast.

‘Make sure that you are properly equipped for walking along coastal paths. In particular remember to wear sturdy shoes or boots and check the weather forecast and tidal times before you set out. Carry a mobile phone, and tell someone where you are going and what time you will be home.

‘Do not attempt to climb up or down cliffs unless you are properly equipped and trained to do so. Do not attempt to climb cliffs as a short cut back to the top and remember if things do go wrong or if you see someone in difficulty, don’t hesitate to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.’

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