Daring and difficult cliff side rescue praised for quick and professional actions of team

A difficult and technical rope rescue that saw coastguard rescue officers at the limit of their reach, has been praised by the area commander as 'undoubtedly' saving a life.

Drew Parkinson, Coastal Operations Area Commander for Devon, commended the fast and professional response of the emergency services as they rescued a man from a precarious position on the side of a cliff in Torquay yesterday.

Shortly after 1pm on Wednesday (7 April), HM Coastguard received a report of a man in trouble near the Imperial Hotel, Torquay after two 12-year-old boys heard faint shouts for help and dialled 999.

The Torbay coastguard rescue team coordinated the difficult rope rescue

Torbay and Berry Head coastguard rescue teams alongside duty coastal officers were all sent to the scene alongside the Torbay RNLI inshore lifeboat and Devon & Cornwall Police.

Police acted quickly on arrival by using throw-lines to temporarily stabilise the casualty, which Drew believes is ultimately what saved his life until coastguards arrived with rope rescue equipment.

The casualty, Drew said, was positioned on the edge of the cliff and far enough down that it was a technically difficult place to secure, with the rope equipment at the absolute limit of what it can handle.

Due to the location, the coastguard rescue helicopter from Newquay was called in to winch the casualty to safety. He was transferred to Daddyhole Plain before being transferred into the care of South Western Ambulance.
The Newquay helicopter was called in to winch the casualty away from the cliff edge to safety

Drew Parkinson, Coastal Operations Area Commander for Devon, said: “Coastguards were on scene extremely quickly owing to coastguard rescue teams conducting local safety patrols throughout Easter. The professionalism of our coastguard rescue officers, local police officers and the SAR helicopter crew undoubtedly saved a life.

"Many thanks to the police for their assistance and well done to the boys for phoning 999.”

And remember, in a coastal emergency dial 999 and request the coastguard.

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