Hope Cove Update 7 August 2019
7 August 2019
Two Coastguard Rescue Officers based at Hope Cove Coastguard Rescue Team have had their membership withdrawn. The appeal process is now complete and the CROs concerned have been notified of the decision. Safety is always our ultimate priority which is why we have a zero tolerance approach to any behaviour which creates unnecessary risk.
Coastguard Rescue Teams were called to an incident on 20 June at Bolberry Downs, near Hope Cove, where a car had reportedly gone over the cliff. On arrival the vehicle was found to be empty and also fifty metres from the edge. There was no further risk to life or the vehicle.
In these situations our safe systems of work dictate that we cordon off the area to prevent members of the public from jeopardising their safety or risking their lives. We would then task appropriate recovery resources.
The two Coastguard Rescue Officers disregarded these protocols and attempted to carry out an unsafe recovery, using an untested rope tied around a bumper of a privately-owned vehicle. These actions breached our safe systems of work and placed the officers at risk unnecessarily. The officers were on official Coastguard duty and wore Coastguard uniforms. The officers deliberately misled the Coastguard Control Centre at Falmouth by informing them that a local farmer had carried out the recovery.
We would like to reassure the public that there is no reduction in the quality of search and rescue provided for the Hope Cove area, which is adequately covered by Bigbury and Prawle Coastguard Rescue Teams.