Injured climber airlifted from base of cliff near Swanage

A man whose shoulder became dislocated while attempting to tackle a challenging cliff climb had to be rescued from a rock ledge just west of Anvil Point near Swanage.

In a tricky operation lasting about three hours on Wednesday 15th February 2023, the coastguard helicopter, Swanage RNLI and the Swanage Coastguard were all deployed to bring the man to safety.

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RNLI rescue near Anvil Point
RNLI

Sea too rough to rescue by boat

Just before 3 pm, both of the Swanage lifeboats were launched.

While a member of the crew on the inshore lifeboat was able to reach the injured climber with blankets and first aid, it was decided that the sea was too rough to safely rescue him by boat.

Swanage lifeboat near Anvil Point
Gary Buglass / RNLI

Cliff overhang meant rope rescue not viable

At the top of the cliff, called the Marmolata Buttress, two coastguard teams considered the options of reaching the man and lifting him in a stretcher up the cliff face.

However this wasn’t deemed viable due to loose rock and an overhang.

With limited options and the state of the sea worsening, a call was made to the coastguard helicopter.

RNLI rescue near Anvil Point
RNLI

“Complicated multi-agency rescue with a positive outcome!”

Swanage Lifeboat Station reported:

“A request was therefore made for HM Coastguard helicopter Rescue 175, which was able to lower its winchman to a nearby boulder and lift the casualty to the cliff top where HM Coastguard volunteers were on hand to assist.

“Launching just before 3 pm, the lifeboats were on scene for nearly three hours, finally recovering their crew in darkness with the casualty safely on route to hospital. A complicated multi-agency rescue with a positive outcome!”

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