Climbing rope hanging over Anvil Point cliff sparks full scale search

A concerned member of the public alerted the emergency services when they discovered a climbing rope left in position over a cliff at Anvil Point near Swanage in Dorset, but there was no sign of a climber.

Fearing the worst, Swanage Coastguard was called to investigate the incident on Monday 10th October 2022.

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rope left at anvil point sparking lifeboat and coastguard search
Swanage Coastguard

The climbing rope had been fixed in place but there was no sign of a climber

Search for anyone in distress

The coastguard team arrived on the scene and started to scour the area to determine whether anyone was in distress.

Swanage Coastguard reported:

“Various areas of the cliff top were searched for equipment or people and with nothing found and light fading the team requested the assistance of the lifeboat to search the cliff face in case anyone was stuck and out of view from the coastguard team.”

Just as the sun was setting, both Swanage RNLI lifeboats were launched and they started searching from Tilly Whim to the west of Anvil Point, as well as the area at the bottom of the cliff below the dangling rope.

Lifeboats search the coast around Anvil Point
Swanage Coastguard

The inshore lifeboat crew checked the bottom of the cliff

“Rope had got wrapped around a rock”

Swanage Lifeboat Station reported:

“A crew member from the inshore lifeboat was put ashore to see what the rope was stuck on. It was found that the rope had got wrapped around a rock and jammed in place.

“The rope was cut so that the coastguards could pull it to the top of the cliff to prevent any other calls.

“The lifeboats also searched the base of the cliff just to make sure that nobody was in difficulty. With nothing else found, all units were released to return to the station.”

Lifeboats search the coast around Anvil Point
Swanage Coastguard

The all weather lifeboat scoured the coastline for any signs of climbers or other equipment

“Prevent false alarms”

It’s recognised that climbing equipment can get stuck or fall into the sea accidently. The best advice is to report it so that unnecessary emergency callouts can be avoided.

Swanage Lifeboat Station, launching for the seventh time this October, said:

“It was thought that the rope had simply been left in place when it jammed. We recommend that any discarded equipment is reported to the UK Coastguard to prevent false alarms.”

Swanage Coastguard reiterated:

“If any climbing equipment on coastal cliffs has to be left for any reason, please contact the coastguard.”

Lifeboats search the coast around Anvil Point
Swanage Coastguard

The sun was setting as the search ended with nothing untoward found

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