Woman survives 100ft fall from East Devon cliffs with minor injuries after major rescue effort is launched

A woman who fell 100 feet down an East Devon cliff escaped with only minor injuries after a major rescue effort was launched to save her.

Coastguard, police, paramedics, the air ambulance and Sidmouth Lifeboat were called to a stretch of coastline between beer and Seaton on Thursday afternoon (January 28).

The casualty was found on a ledge some 80 feet above rocks on the shoreline.

Emergency services were called shortly after noon.

The young woman, who could not be seen from the cliff-top, was found by the police helicopter.

Coastguard rescuers from Beer and Lyme Regis cut their way through hedgerow and used rope to descend the cliff before winching the casualty to safety.

East Devon A coastguard rescuer descend the cliff to reach the casualty. Picture: Beer Coastguard

A coastguard rescuer descend the cliff to reach the casualty. Picture: Beer Coastguard

A Beer Coastguard spokesperson said: “Immediate tasking along with Lyme Regis Coastguard to a female who had slipped off the coast path and fallen 100 feet down the cliff and was on a ledge 80 feet above the rocks between Beer and Seaton.

“The NPAS helicopter located her and indicated to us where she was as we could not see her from the top.

“A lifeboat was requested to help direct our rope technician down the cliff, the coastguard helicopter was also requested in case her injuries meant she had to be winched off the cliff.

“The air ambulance and HART [Hazardous Area Response Team] had also been tasked and arrived on scene, followed by our area commander.

“We had to cut our way through a hedge row to allow us to set up the equipment in the field behind.

“Our technician was lowered down the cliff but could not see the casualty until about ten feet above her.

“He secured her into a harness to prevent her from falling over any further, he assessed her for any injuries; as these were minor injuries and she could walk we decided to winch them both back up.

“She had lost her shoes while slipping down the cliff, so it was taken slowly not wanting to cause any more injuries.

“She was safely brought to the top and handed over to paramedics for further treatment of injuries and shock.

“A multi-agency tasking were undoubtedly a life was saved.”

A Lyme Regis Coastguard spokesperson added: “Sidmouth Lifeboat was requested to help guide our rope technician down the cliff.

“The coastguard helicopter was also circling in case her injuries meant she had to be quickly winched off the cliff face.

“The downwash of a hovering helicopter can make the winching of any casualty in a precarious position extremely hazardous.

“Having cut an access way through a hedgerow, the necessary anchors were put in place to set up a rope rescue system.

“The technician (climber) was lowered down the cliff.

“He managed to secure her into a harness to prevent her from falling over any further.

“Her injuries were then assessed. As these injuries were minor, the decision was to recover her back to the cliff top.

“She was safely brought back up to the cliff-top and passed into the care of South West Ambulance for treatment of her injuries and shock.

“We wish her a speedy recovery.”

The incident was the second callout in 24 hours for Sidmouth Lifeboat and Beer Coastguard. Both were tasked, along with Exmouth Coastguard, to help police with an incident on the coast at 11.25pm on Wednesday, January 29.

It had a ‘positive outcome’.

“Two excellent multi-agency responses, both resulting in good outcomes. Sidmouth independent lifeboat thanks everyone who was involved,” said a spokesperson for the charity.

East Devon firefighters tackle fuse box fire at bungalow in Seaton and issue ‘stay out’ warning

About Author