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Perran Sands cliff rescue drama
7:20am Wednesday 13th June 2012 in Cornwall
A TEENAGER had to be airlifted to safety after becoming stuck 70 feet up a cliff at Perran Sands last Wednesday.
Senior RNLI lifeguard Frazier Thompson-Hewitt was patrolling the beach when he was first alerted to the teenager stuck up the cliff at High Cliff, between Perran Sands and Perranporth. The youngster had been climbing up the cliff when he became stuck on loose rocks, unable to find a safe way back down to the base.
Frazier said: “I was alerted to the teenager at about 12.30pm and immediately went over to the scene.
“I stood at the bottom of the cliff and spoke to the boy and reassured him as he was understandably quite shaken up.
“I could see he was on a loose rocky ledge and had a few cuts and scrapes.”
RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Martyn Ward heard the incident unfold on the radio and went to the scene to help Frazier reassure the casualty.
Lifeguard Candice Tonkins maintained radio communications with Falmouth Coastguard throughout the incident, while lifeguard Mitch Jenson continued patrols on the red and yellow flagged bathing area.
The St Agnes coastguard cliff Rescue team was also on scene and assisted from the top of the cliff.
Due to the instability of the rocks surrounding the boy, the Royal Navy’s Rescue 193 helicopter from RNAS Culdrose was tasked and airlifted the casualty back to the safety of the beach.
Martyn said: “The casualty was naturally quite shaken up after the incident. He’d reached a high point of the cliff and became stuck on a loose rocky ledge, unable to move.
“He did the right thing in calling for help, remaining in his position and staying calm under supervision of the lifeguards.
“Working together with the coastguard and Royal Navy, the teenager was rescued swiftly and luckily didn’t suffer any serious injuries.
“Climbing cliffs can be dangerous as rocks are unstable and people can get stuck at a height, like this teenager did, or by the incoming tide.
“The RNLI urges anyone who chooses to climb cliffs and rocks to be aware of the potential dangers and seek guidance and advice on the local conditions and hazards from lifeguards.’