A climber who got into difficulty whilst climbing with a friend on a cliff face near West Farm, Southerndown was rescued by Porthcawl RNLI volunteers on Wednesday evening (31 August 2022).

Porthcawl RNLI’s volunteer crew were out on training exercise onboard the charity’s inshore lifeboats, the Atlantic 85 Rose of the Shires and D class Hugo Missen when HM Coastguard requested they divert to the incident. The crews onboard both lifeboats made best speed to the location in order to locate the climber, assess the situation and see if it was possible to extract the climber at the base of the cliffs. Llantwit Major Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked to the incident.

The crew onboard the Atlantic 85 lifeboat were first to arrive on scene.

Helm Sam Williams said:

‘Once we arrived on scene I assessed the situation. I knew we needed to act quickly as the sun had just set and we were losing light rapidly. Being near to high water I was able to manoeuvre the lifeboat in close enough to the base of the cliff for the climber to be able to lower themselves to a ledge and climb from there onto the lifeboat.

‘The casualty’s friend climbed back up to the top of the cliff whilst being monitored and provided with floodlight illumination by our D Class lifeboat crew. Once the casualty’s friend reached the top of the cliff he was met by the rescue team from Llantwit Major Coastguard.

‘Llantwit Major Coastguard Rescue Team and the casualty’s friend then relocated to Dunraven Bay, Southerndown ready to meet the casualty where he was dropped ashore onto the slipway by the D Class lifeboat.

‘When the climbers realised one of them needed help they did the right thing by calling the Coastguard on 999 and requesting assistance. With the light fading rapidly time was of the essence and we were glad to have been able to get there so quickly and help the casualty to safety.

‘In an emergency at the coast dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’