Beer Coastguard and Sidmouth Lifeboat rescuers battled darkness and treacherous conditions to reach a woman with a suspected broken ankle on a remote part of the East Devon coast.
Both emergency services got a late-night callout to Littlecombe Shoot, near Branscombe, on Monday, June 21, where the casualty was staying in a seafront cabin.
The Beer Coastguard team was called just after 11pm and carried the injured woman on a stretcher some 450 metres along the beach.
A spokesperson said: “we were tasked to a lady with a suspected broken and dislocated ankle at Littlecombe Shoot.
“The casualty was staying in a cabin just off the beach.
“We met up with the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) at Berry Barton Farm. Using 4x4s we transported two HART team members and our other team members down the track to the top of the east path.
“We started walking from there down the slippery path; it soon became obvious that we would not be able to carry a stretcher with the casualty back up the path.
“We requested the launch of Sidmouth Lifeboat to enable us to evacuate the casualty by sea.
“On arrival at the cabin, we realised we had to lower the casualty down a narrow 12-step metal staircase to the beach and as it was low water, and because of rocks we then had to carry her 450 metres along the beach to a suitable location where Sidmouth Lifeboat
could safely get ashore for us to load the casualty and stretcher on to the boat.
“After initial treatment by HART, we evacuated the casualty to the lifeboat.
“The lifeboat then transferred the lady back to Sidmouth and on to a waiting ambulance.
“We wish her a speedy recovery.”
Both of Sidmouth’s lifeboats were tasked to the incident.
A spokesperson for the independent charity said: “The casualty had already been attended to and stretchered to the shore by Beer Coastguard Rescue Team, who then stretchered her 450 metres along the shore, to a point they believed would be accessible to the lifeboat in the prevailing conditions.
“Both Sidmouth Lifeboat and Sidmouth 2 launched. Despite the swell, total darkness and numerous submerged rocks, coxswain Guy Bennett managed to get the bow of the lifeboat onto the beach for long enough to allow the casualty to be taken aboard in a stretcher and brought safely back to Sidmouth.”
The casualty was left in the care of paramedics.