Injured coasteering woman says she can’t thank Swanage Lifeboat crew enough!

The woman who was rescued from Dancing Ledge, just south of Langton Matravers, after injuring herself coasteering has said she’s so grateful to her rescuers, that she’s going to make a donation to the RNLI.

Rhiannon Bramley from Bath, who was on holiday in Dorset with her family at the time, hurt herself while on an organised coasteering trip on Saturday 29th August 2020. The outdoor adrenaline activity, coasteering is when people jump into the sea and climb along the rocks.

The injury to her leg left her in considerable agony and unable to climb up the rocks away from the sea, so both the Swanage Lifeboats launched and the volunteers from St Albans Coastguard were also paged.

Watch video of the RNLI rescue

Swanage inshore lifeboat launches to stranded kayakers at Ballard Down

On 20th August Swanage’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched to two kayakers stranded near Ballard Down. Conditions had worsened further from the shore and the kayakers had taken refuge on a rocky part of the coastline to avoid the building swell.Due to the rolling swell crashing up against the cliffs the volunteers on Swanage inshore lifeboat veered in to get closer to the casualties and a crew member swam from the lifeboat to the shore with a line. The casualties (and their kayaks!) were recovered separately to the lifeboat using the line and with assistance from the crew members.Lifeboat helmsman Tom Greasty said, 'This was a tricky rescue due to the conditions. The crew had to work together, keeping good communication over the wind, waves and engine noise, to allow us to position the boat in the swell as close to the casualties as was safe'.This rescue was a reminder how quickly conditions can change at sea. Please always check the conditions before going in the water, make sure you have the correct equipment such as a lifejacket and a means to call for help, and let someone on the shore know where you are going.

Posted by Swanage Lifeboat Station on Saturday, August 29, 2020

“Very well organised and professional!”

Rhiannon Bramley praised the team who had organised the trip:

“The coasteering team did an excellent job of keeping me safe and comfortable as best they could – they were very well organised and professional! As were the freelance coasteerers who stayed and helped until the rescue crews arrived.”

Dancing Ledge viewed from the sea
Caroline Abbott

Dancing Ledge, along the Jurassic Coast is a popular place for rock climbing and coasteering. The area is owned by the National Trust and coasteering is only permitted in organised groups.

Stuck on a ledge at sea level

Once the Swanage Lifeboat team and the St Albans Coastguard were on the scene, it was decided that as she was stuck on a ledge at sea level, the best way to rescue her was by boat.

A crew member from the Swanage inshore lifeboat was able to reach her and give her pain-relieving gas to lessen the agony of her leg injury.

She was then transferred, along with her dad who was with her on the trip, to the larger all-weather lifeboat and taken back to the Swanage Lifeboat Station, where an ambulance then took her to hospital.

“I’ll be a lot more careful in future!”

Rhiannon, who is now recovering from her ordeal, said:

“The lifeboat crew did their best and kept me comfortable and happy, whilst I waited for the ambulance to arrive.

“Thankfully I only tore ligaments and there’s no fracture. It hasn’t put me off coasteering but I’ll be a lot more careful in future!”

“I’d really urge people to donate to the RNLI”

She added:

“I cannot thank my rescuers enough, and my family and I will be making a donation to the RNLI for helping me after the incident. I’d really urge people to donate to the RNLI, as they’re out there most days risking their lives to save others.”

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