Some incredible footage was recently released by the UK Coastguard that shows a daring helicopter rescue of three people stranded on a cliff.
A man became stranded by the tide while climbing some cliffs off the coast of Bude, England. Two others attempted to help the man get off, but they were also stranded during their efforts.
The Coastguard arrived by helicopter and discovered the man and his attempted rescuers clinging to the rocks as waves hammered against them.
“This was a challenging rescue for a number of reasons: firstly the worrying picture of how many people were involved and their location; the close proximity of the casualties to the cliff; the weather with an offshore wind blowing directly onto the cliff, large waves, messy surf and peaking high tide,” said Coastguard Winch Operator Ginge Steabler.
Coastguard winchman Mark ‘Spike’ Hughes can be seen in the video as he gets lowered to the man. He immediately gets hit by a massive wave but manages to reach the victim. Spike gets the harness half-way around the man before a wave knocks them both into the water.
“This video clearly shows what can happen when people are cut off by the tide but also the sterling job Spike the winchman did in the harsh conditions and rapidly changing situation to successfully rescue the casualties,” said Captain Graham ‘Sharky’ Finn.
Spike and the man were still attached to the winch, but he realized the man was only secured by his arm. He radioed the helicopter to take them to the beach shore so he could properly secure him and get him to safety.
After getting him to safety they were able to winch the remaining two victims to safety.
“This incident could so easily have turned into a really tragic one. If you see someone in difficulty at sea or along the Coast please immediately call 999 and ask for the Coastguard,” said Alan Pickersgill with the UK Coastguard. “If you are going out for a walk along the shore make sure that you check the tide times – you will often see this information at the entry to beaches or check it online – and ensure that you are back in plenty of time.”