Bude In a dramatic rescue at Morwenstow, Bude Coastguard Rescue Team were tasked to Vicarage Cliff in at 14.50, following a report of a missing walker. Hartland CRT members were also tasked.
With one member of Bude CRT already on scene, further information was gathered from the first informant that the casualty was a 21-year- old male who had in fact scrambled down onto the 460ft high Henna Cliff face with no ropes or climbing equipment. Really glad this person was ultimately ok, but such behaviour does endanger others, too.
As the two Coastguard Rescue Teams arrived, and with the information that the casualty’s last seen position was on Henna Cliff on the opposite side of the valley, it was quickly decided that scrambling Rescue 924 (the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter based in Newquay) would be the most efficient way of searching the cliffs themselves, as access to the rocky foreshore below the cliff (one of the highest and most sheer in Cornwall) would require a prolonged and tricky hike, when time was of the utmost essence.
As Rescue 924 set off from Newquay, Bude CRT deployed search teams to check the areas upon the cliff top close to where the casualty had last been seen, and to retrieve two further members of the first informant’s group who were positioned half way up the cliff on the cliff path, and bring them to an area of safety as Rescue 924 approached.
Meanwhile, Hartland CRT – who had repositioned northward and on the top of Henna Cliff – rigged up an Edge Safety Officer who, under a restraint system, was able to get to the edge of the cliff and search part of the cliff face.
Miraculously, the ESO managed to spot the casualty on the cliff face, who was conscious and able to signal back to the Coastguard Rescue Officer.
With Rescue 924 informed of the casualty’s status, and as it arrived on scene, the Edge Safety Officer set about guiding the helicopter on to the casualty’s position which was on a steep and precarious scree slope, part way down the cliff face.
As the winchman lowered into position and rescue of the casualty got under way, Bude CRT prepared a HLS (Helicopter Landing Site) should the casualty be uninjured and able to be recovered to his friends. Happily, this was the case, and after a check over from the winchman aboard Rescue 924, the helicopter set down in the HLS and released the extremely relieved casualty to waiting members of Bude CRT.
After a final check over, the casualty was reunited with his friends, and all Coastguard Rescue Teams and Rescue 924 were stood down.