The Coastguard helicopter rescued two young men who were at risk of being washed out to sea as 6ft waves were crashing over them as they clung to rocks in Devon
The HM Coastguard St Athan search and rescue helicopter was deployed just after 3pm on Thursday (15 February) after receiving a 999 call reporting two young men clinging to rocks off Hartland Point, Devon.
With 6ft waves crashing over them, the men were in serious danger of being washed out to sea.
The Hartland Point Coastguard rescue team were unable to reach them due to the rough seas but the crew was monitoring the situation from the shore and briefing the Coastguard helicopter.
Once at the scene the helicopter crew managed to rescue the men in under two minutes.
Dramatic footage filmed during the operation shows the Coastguard winchman rescuing the young men whilst being hit by 6ft waves.
Both men were airlifted to safety and despite their ordeal didn’t require medical attention.
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HM Coastguard helicopter Chief Pilot Olly Padbury said: “This was a challenging rescue where we only had seconds to spare. As we manoeuvred our Winchman towards the two casualties on the rock, he was hit a by a large unsighted wave. Recovering quickly he was able to place the strop over the first casualty and he was winched onboard. Once he was safely inside we dropped the winch down again and we were able to pull the Winchman and the second casualty up in seconds. This dramatic footage clearly shows what can happen when people are cut off by the tide but also the sterling job our Winchman did in a few minutes. This rescue is about teamwork and we would like to say a big thank you to Hartland Point Coastguard Rescue Team for their spot on briefing – which saw these two young men rescued successfully.”
Speaking after the incident Duncan Ley, Duty Controller for HM Coastguard said: “This incident could so easily have turned into a really tragic one. If you see someone in difficulty at sea or along the Coast please immediately call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you are going out for a walk along the shore make sure that you check the tide times – you will often see this information at the entry to beaches or check it online – and ensure that you are back in plenty of time. Thankfully, this was a rescue that ended really well thanks to the Coastguard helicopter crew and Hartland Point Coastguard Rescue Team.”