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Dramatic rescue at Minster cliffs

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness inshore lifeboat and the UK Coastguard helicopter crew worked together to rescue a teenager who had fallen down the cliffs.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat launched at 9.57am on Saturday 8 September after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that a call had been received from Kent Police that a person had fallen down the cliffs at Minster in the area of Oak Lane and was injured.

The lifeboat was on the scene at 10.17 am but the crew were unable to make a visual contact with the casualty from the shore due to the height and dense undergrowth on the cliff face.

The Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Unit who attended the top of the cliffs were also unable to pinpoint the casualty and it was the crew of the Coastguard rescue helicopter 163, which had also been scrambled, who eventually located the 17-year-old youth in a gully some 20 to 30 feet down the 100-foot cliff.

A paramedic was lowered from the helicopter and two crew members from the lifeboat climbed up the cliff to assist him as it was believed the casualty had suspected spinal injuries. Whilst this was going on the helicopter left the scene and landed in a field close by.

Due to the suspected injuries the third member of the lifeboat crew was called to assist in lifting the casualty onto a stretcher which after anchoring the lifeboat and making the difficult climb he was able to do.

When the casualty was safely in the stretcher the helicopter returned to the scene at 11.48am and from there took the youth directly to the William Harvey hospital at Ashford.

The lifeboat crew were released at 11.53am and were back on station at 12.07pm

Wind WSW force 4


Media contacts:

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07785296252

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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