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Both Tenby lifeboats involved in difficult rescue of fallen climber at St Govans

Lifeboats News Release

Tenby’s relief RNLI all-weather lifeboat was requested to launch just after 5.30pm on Saturday 2nd June after the Coastguard received a report that a climber had fallen at Blockhouse Buttress, near St Govans.

The all-weather lifeboat was quickly on the water and made best speed to the scene.

Also proceeding to the scene, were Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187, Air Ambulance Helimed 57, both Tenby and St Govans Coastguard Rescue units and a land ambulance from Tenby.

Once on scene some 20 minutes later, it became apparent that the lifeboat wouldn’t be of much use, as the casualty was around 20ft above the base of the cliff. Similarly, Rescue 187, which was shortly overhead, was also unable to assist due to an overhang above the casualty, which prevented the winch man getting to him.

After a discussion between all units, a plan was devised and put into action. Two Coastguard Cliff Rescue Technicians were put over the cliff and lowered to secure the casualty.

In the meantime, Tenby’s inshore lifeboat arrived on scene after being called upon for its extra power to cope with the building swell at the base of the cliff. The volunteer crew then veered down through the swell, into the rocks below the casualty.

Both the casualty and the Technicians were then lowered to Tenby inshore lifeboat, which had been called upon to assist with its extra power due to the swell building and the base of the cliff.

With the casualty now in the inshore lifeboat, he was transferred to the all-weather lifeboat so that the helicopter would have a bigger, more stable platform to winch from. Whilst aboard the lifeboat, his injuries were assessed, and he was found to have breathing difficulties so was given oxygen. He was also experiencing abdominal pain.

Coastguard helicopter Rescue 187 was soon overhead and winched the casualty aboard. They then landed on the cliff top and transferred him to the expert care of Tenby Ambulance Crew who worked alongside the team from the Air Ambulance to stabilise him, before he was flown to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

The inshore lifeboat then dropped the Cliff Rescue Technicians at Stackpole, before both lifeboats returned to station, arriving at 9.30pm.

Duty Tenby Lifeboat Coxswain Dan Young said “This was a great example of a multi-agency rescue in which all teams involved worked exceptionally well. I’d particularly like to praise the inshore lifeboat crew and cliff rescue teams for their work during the recovery of the casualty in difficult conditions.”

For more information, please contact Lifeboat Press Officer (LPO) Ben James on 07971 463716 or Danielle Rush, Divisional Media Relations Manager (Wales and West) on 07786 668829 or 01745 585162. Alternatively contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

RNLI/Ben James

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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