Midnight rescue by Swanage RNLI and coastguard

Following a medical incident on the cliff path above Durlston Bay in Swanage, the lifeboat crew were paged to help get the casualty to hospital.

The ambulance crew and Swanage Coastguard were both already on the scene when both the Swanage lifeboats launched at 11.47 pm on Friday 1st April 2022.

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Durlston Bay
Library image

The cliff above Durlston Bay in Swanage

“Options to evacuate the casualty safely”

The cliff walkway above Durlston Bay, often called the zig zag path, is steep and narrow and difficult to navigate and can often be slippery and dangerous.

Swanage Coastguard reported:

“Tasked to assist the ambulance service, the team escorted the ambulance crew down to the incident just above the beach.

“Whilst the ambulance crew were treating the casualty, the coastguard team looked at the options to evacuate the casualty safely from the location.

“Due to the terrain and the need to stretcher the casualty back to the ambulance, assistance was sought from the Swanage RNLI lifeboat crew.

Durlston Bay lifeboat rescue
Swanage Coastguard

The casualty was strapped onto a stretcher and put into the inshore lifeboat and then transferred to the larger all weather lifeboat to get to the ambulance

“Far easier to take the casualty by sea”

The lifeboats launched and were quickly on the scene, joining the coastguards and paramedics to help rescue the casualty.

Swanage Lifeboat Station said:

“Rather than attempt to carry the casualty up steep and narrow paths to the nearest road, it was going to be far easier to take the casualty by sea back to the boathouse.

“The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) used its powerful searchlights to illuminate the area while the nimble inshore lifeboat (ILB) took a stretcher and extra personnel ashore.

“The casualty was packaged into the stretcher and transferred to the ALB by the ILB, then the short trip back to the boathouse was made at a comfortable speed.”

By this time it was now 1 am the following day. The casualty was then transferred to an ambulance at the jetty and taken to hospital.

Durlston Bay beach
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The rocky beach at Durlston Bay

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