While the people of Swanage were getting ready to clap for the NHS and all those trying to save lives in the front line of the battle against coronavirus, the Swanage Lifeboat crew were called out to rescue two men from Slough, who had been cut off by the tide while exploring Old Harry Rocks.
The volunteer crew were paged at 7.45 pm and then three crew members were chosen to launch the inshore lifeboat (ILB) that can get closer to the rocks. In addition to their usual kit they also had to wear gloves and facemasks.
On a small ledge at Old Harry
Two people were discovered sheltering on a small ledge at Old Harry Rocks. They had been in the water but had managed to climb back out onto the cliff, suffering only a few cuts and scrapes.
Tourists rescued from Old Harry by Swanage Lifeboat crew
They were rescued and taken back to South Beach in Studland, where it emerged that a third man had also been caught by the tide, but had managed to swim to the shore to raise the alarm.
The rescue mission had also involved Dorset Police, Swanage Coastguard,
National Police Air Service (NPAS), South Western Ambulance and the Coastguard Helicopter, who were all called out to search for the missing two.
Purbeck Police said:
“Four police cars, four police officers, one PCSO, one police drone, two coastguard response teams, the inshore lifeboat from Swanage with three crew and a double crewed ambulance later, they were sent on their way. And yes, all three will receive a surprise through the post.
“Around 20 emergency workers were put at risk as a result of a trip to the beach. PLEASE think before you travel.”
Swanage Coastguard said:
“Dorset Police are now dealing with the three in respect to breaches in the guidelines. Please respect us and our emergency service colleagues. Do not travel and instead exercise close to home.”
In the incident report, the Swanage Lifeboat spokesperson said:
“To help protect the public and our volunteers, we urge people to take care at the coast and to follow government guidelines to travel and exercise close to home.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the volunteer crew who had responded to the call but weren’t needed, joined in the clap for key workers at 8 pm. While social distancing, they stood outside the Swanage Lifeboat house at Peveril Point as the sun set – see video below.