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Climber 'extremely grateful' to HM Coastguard after terrifying experience on famous sea stack

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“Suddenly the waves got really fierce and were crashing into the rocks, which became slippery and hard to hold on to; the wind whipped the sea spray into our faces and made it impossible to see or hear each other and the climb was suddenly very treacherous. “The weather turned quickly and all of a sudden, it was a much darker, scarier place and we were in trouble.” Two men have spoken about their harrowing experience of becoming stuck yesterday evening (23 September) on a 60 metre (200ft) sandstone sea stack, in Sutherland, Scotland. The men raised the alarm just before 6.30pm after they found themselves crag fast on a small ledge near the bottom of the Old Man of Stoer, unable to make their way up or down in poor weather, with high waves battering the stack and the tide coming in. The coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Stornoway, Achiltibuie, Kinlochbervie and Ullapool Coastguard Rescue Teams, Lochinver RNLI lifeboat and Police Scotland were all sent to help as darkness r

Two men rescued after 'lucky escape' on cliff edge near Tintagel Castle

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Two people have been rescued from a cliff edge after their fishing trip in North Cornwall went horribly wrong. Polzeath Coastguard Rescue Team deputy station officer Shaun Hawkey said Wednesday night's rescue was a 'time-critical incident' that could 'easily have ended in tragedy'. "It's a great example of how quickly things can go wrong," he said. "They had decided to do a bit of fishing after work and it could easily have ended in tragedy. "It could have happened to anyone, they slipped and nearly fell down a cliff. They were clinging on by their fingertips and couldn't move, it was definitely a time-critical incident. "They were pretty shook up and are extremely lucky it ended this way." Two coastguard rescue teams and the search and rescue helicopter from Newquay were involved     Picture: Glynnphotographic Three men, believed to be local, had decided to take part in a bit of night-time fishing at the top of a cliff near Tin

Safety Spotlight - Double Trouble or ‘safety savvy’? What’s your preference?

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There’s nothing quite like a trip to the coast to enjoy the fresh air and give our spirits a lift. But for some people that trip can also mean a less comfortable type of lift -   on a stretcher, up a cliff in a harness or even on the end of a line with a paramedic up to a hovering helicopter. This week’s incidents around our coasts have included sending help to give a ‘lift’ to those in double trouble, people stranded and shivering, some dangerous dunkings and all sorts of scrapes and scares. Double Trouble  At the scene of 'double trouble' Credit Mark Hannaford FEWM There was double trouble for a dog and its owner at Dorset’s stunning Thorncombe beacon. The dog, ‘Laney’ slipped over the cliff and his owner also found himself in a sticky situation when he tried to climb the cliff but then got stuck in mud. The West Bay, Lyme Regis and Beer Coastguard Rescue Teams, the Fire service and the RNLI lifeboat went to the rescue, working closely together with the single aim of a succ

When 'making a fuss' saves lives - Matt's life-affirming story

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When something goes a little bit wrong at the coast, many people don’t want to make a fuss. Matt Halliday was one of them. But it took a single innocent walk at his local coastline to change his mind for good. One small event escalated into a life-threatening situation, leaving him unconscious and his family frantic with worry. He’s shared his story with us as he wants people to raise the alarm without delay if they are in difficulties and not to worry about making a fuss. We agree. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Matt Halliday revisited the site of his ordeal in better weather, accompanied by Cliff his dog Earlier this year, keen walker Matt stepped out for a good walk around his local coastline near Kirkcolm on the South West coast of Scotland, an area he’s walked for 35 years. He was well prepared as usual, equipped with a fully charged mobile phone and wearing sturdy footwear and suitable clothing for almost all types of weather. From a setback to a survival story But even

Swanage Coastguard's new recruit a little shell-shocked after getting lost on the job

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Swanage Coastguard Rescue Team's latest recruit has really come out of his shell lately with a daring great escape. Girly, a seven-year-old tortoise, found his way to the local coastguard station on Monday after getting lost on a wander from home  –  and was immediately signed up for duty.  The tortoise was collected by the team, to keep him safe, and looked after while the owner, a local who lived nearby, was tracked down. But the curious reptile decided he was not yet done with his adventure as he broke out of the temporary pen made for him and went on the run overnight. Local resident Girly went for a visit of the Swanage Coastguard Station this week The sunny weather on Tuesday morning proved too hard to resist for the land-dwelling animal, however, as he was quickly found sunning himself. Station officer Ian Brown said: "Thankfully at 9.30 this morning he was found warming up in the sun and detained in custody and straight back to the owner this time. "The owner is v

Fisherman survives overboard ordeal with personal locator beacon lighting the way for the coastguard rescue

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Even when you do everything right, it can still all go wrong when you are miles from shore with only a floating vessel between you and the deep blue sea. As one of the crew of the fishing vessel Sidney Rose found out earlier today (3 September), when he fell overboard and called for the help of Her Majesty's Coastguard. Crucially, he had a lifejacket on as well as a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) attached to it; and the two key bits of safety equipment saved his life. The fisherman spent more than an hour in the water but, thanks to his preparedness, was rescued safe and well, although he was very cold. His story serves as a stark reminder of the importance of a lifejacket and PLB when out at sea. The search and rescue helicopter from Newquay located the man overboard in just two minutes     Photo: Glynnphotographic Matt Rogers, Team Leader at MRCC Falmouth, said: “He was unlucky to end up in the water at all, but he survived because he did everything right. “He had a Personal Locat

Safety Spotlight – Seasons change but safety doesn’t

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With September now in full swing (just where has this year gone?!) and the weather set to be indifferent for this coming Saturday and Sunday, follow our simple but important checklist if you’re visiting a coastal area: – Always read the forecast and monitor tide timings – Tell someone where you’re going and when you’re likely to be back – Carry a fully-charged mobile phone so you have means to make emergency contact The August holiday period is sadly now over and while seasons change, safety doesn’t. In a coastal emergency, our message is the same – call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Our Coastguard Rescue Teams on the ground, along with our search and rescue partners such as the RNLI, independent lifeboats and fellow emergency services, have been busy responding to a wide-range of incidents at the coast over the past week or so. From helping people who have fallen on a coastal path to responding to reports of groups of people being cut off by the tide – accidents in the water can hap