Emergency services rescue teenager after she falls off cliff at Orcombe Point

PUBLISHED: 16:21 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:21 01 July 2018

Shore Crew volunteers waiting to hear further news of the casualty. CREDIT: RNLI/Emma Tarling

Shore Crew volunteers waiting to hear further news of the casualty. CREDIT: RNLI/Emma Tarling


A teenage girl is recovering in hospital after the cliff top she was sitting on crumbled below her at Orcombe Point.

Inshore lifeboat recovers after service under a full moon. Credit: RNLI/ Emma TarlingInshore lifeboat recovers after service under a full moon. Credit: RNLI/ Emma Tarling

Emergency services, Exmouth Coastguard and Exmouth RNLI were quickly on scene after reports a 16-year-old had fallen feet first down the cliff on Friday evening.

The girl had been with a friend looking at the moon before the cliff crumbled below her. She fell vertically and hit an overhang on the way down before sliding straight to the bottom.

Upon arrival the crew aboard the inshore lifeboat assessed her injuries and administered first aid. She was stretchered down the beach and winched to a Coastguard helicopter before being flown to Derriford Hospital by Devon Air Ambulance.

Roger Jackson, was among the crew volunteers first on scene, and praised the girl’s friend for his actions to get her to safety from the incoming tide.

He said: We found the girl in extreme agony, in a crumpled mess. She had been joined by a friend who had run down the steps and entered the water in order to reach her. Together they had somehow moved up to a ledge to stay higher than the tide, until help arrived. We would like to thank him for assisting her to a place of safety and saving her from a worse situation with an incoming tide.

“It was a tremendous effort by all emergency services involved. Joined-up lifesaving which we can only learn by training regularly together and understanding each other’s assets.”

Following the incident, the volunteer crewman also issued safety warnings to walkers and beachgoers that the cliff were prone to splitting after a spell of warm weather.

Mr Jackson said: “With the recent long warm weather, our Jurassic cliffs are very dry and prone to splitting and creating rock falls. It is not only dangerous for walkers at the top, it is also dangerous for people sitting on beaches beneath.

“We would encourage people not to take the risk of going near the edge – keep to the marked footpaths and enjoy our beautiful coastline from a safe distance.”

During the rescue mission, the RNLI’s D class lifeboat returned to station to pick up the South West Ambulance HART team and another crew volunteer, an emergency doctor, to take them to the scene which was only accessible by water.

Exmouth Coastguard team and Devon and Cornwall police officers were in attendance at Orcombe Point, controlling crowds which had formed and preparing a helicopter landing area on the beach if it was required.

The crew returned to the station at 11.50pm.

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