Around midnight, Swanage and St Alban’s Coastguard teams and both Swanage lifeboats were called to rescue a climber who had become stuck on the cliffs just west of Anvil Point.
The woman had been climbing all day, along with a companion, when she got stuck on the 27 metre (90 foot) high cliff in the Boulder Ruckle area. This is the steep cliff area between Anvil Point and Dancing Ledge, popular with experienced climbers. Due to the time of night, the pair called the emergency services for assistance.
The Swanage Lifeboats were able to illuminate the cliff
In order for the volunteer coastguard teams to rescue the climber from the cliff face in the dark, both the Swanage Lifeboats headed to the scene and were able to illuminate the cliff, as well as being able to provide an alternative rescue plan if required.
Ropes were used to assist the coastguard to rescue the climber from the cliff face in the dark
Hoisted up the cliff
Working under the floodlights and within the restrictions of the coronavirus guidelines, a rope technician was deployed to the climber. Once the welfare of the woman was checked, she was then recovered using a rescue strop that goes round the body and enables them to be hoisted up the cliff.
Having been recovered to the top of the cliff after the two hour incident, the climber was medically checked and the pair left to return home. The emergency teams were also able to be stood down.
Once back at Swanage Lifeboat Station, the lifeboats were washed down and the equipment sanitised and checked, before the volunteers returned to their beds at around 3.30 am.
“Please ensure your actions don’t have a negative impact or unintended consequences on others”
The British Mountaineering Council has offered its advice to all climbers during this difficult time, when the coronavirus restrictions have eased but the spread of the virus is still possible. It said:
“Our key message to climbers and hill walkers is to be cautious in your actions, respectful of local communities and extremely vigilant in avoiding transmitting the virus.
“Covid-19 is a serious disease, and preventing infection and transmission of the virus is still essential. The easing of lockdown depends on a strong collective sense of social responsibility, so if you’re heading outside please ensure your actions don’t have a negative impact or unintended consequences on others.”