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Minehead RNLI lifeboats rescue injured angler

Lifeboats News Release

An angler who suffered severe hand injuries in a fall onto rocks was rescued in a joint operation by Minehead’s two RNLI lifeboats this morning (Saturday).

The 29-year old was trying to get to remote Selworthy Sands, which lie at the foot of 800-foot cliffs, for a morning’s fishing.

Virtually the only access to the beach is via a fixed rope leading down a gully next to Hurlestone Point. As he reached the bottom of the rope the man slipped, fell just over a metre and badly injured his hand on a sharp rock as he tried to break his descent.

After his friend dialled 999 for help Minehead’s Atlantic 85 and D class lifeboats launched and quickly located him. Two of the volunteer crew swam ashore to assess his injury. He was then taken off the rocky beach by the D class, transferred to the Atlantic 85 and quickly returned to Minehead and handed over to a waiting ambulance crew.

Crew member Jim Whittaker said the man had been highly relieved when rescue arrived.

'The bottom part of the rope is almost permanently wet and he simply lost his grip and his hand went down onto a very, very sharp rock,' he said.

'Due to his injury, he realised there was no way he was going to be able to climb back up the way he came down and luckily his friend was there to call for help.'

Teenagers in inflatable

Ifer Gwyn

Teenagers in inflatable

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland