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Herne Bay cliff rescue sees man saved after being cut off by high tide


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A man who became cut off by high tide has been saved from the foot of a cliff during a dramatic rescue mission.

Coastguards abseiled down the sheer drop between Herne Bay and Reculver yesterday afternoon after the man became stranded during a walk along the shore.

Whitstable lifeboat heads for Herne Bay to a report of a person cut off by the tide on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: Andy Mayo/RNLI Whitstable
Whitstable lifeboat heads for Herne Bay to a report of a person cut off by the tide on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: Andy Mayo/RNLI Whitstable

Three RNLI lifeboats and two Coastguard rescue teams were scrambled to the scene shortly before 2pm, after the walker called the UK Coastguard to alert them of his situation.

Arriving at the scene, a Whitstable lifeboat crew spotted him standing on the beach at the foot of a cliff between Bishopstone Glen and Reculver.

Strong winds and one-metre waves made it tricky for the boat to approach the shore.

As the man was clear of the water, the lifeboat stood by to await the arrival of the Coastguard rescue teams and two Margate lifeboats.

On arrival, the smaller Margate D-class lifeboat approached the shore and the crew was able to speak to the man who "confirmed he was all right".

The Whitstable lifeboat crew liaise with the crew of the Margate D class lifeboat offshore from Bishopstone during operation on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: RNLI Whitstable
The Whitstable lifeboat crew liaise with the crew of the Margate D class lifeboat offshore from Bishopstone during operation on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: RNLI Whitstable

After considering all options, on-shore Coastguard teams descended the cliff by rope to reach the man.

They recovered him, before being lifted back up to the clifftop.

Following the rescue, Whitstable lifeboat operations manager Mike Judge said: “A spring tide heightened by a tidal surge had blocked off sections of the beach stranding the individual as high water approached.

"The strong onshore wind had created too much sea for the person to be evacuated safely by lifeboat so the Coastguard rescue teams conducted a recovery up the cliff using rope techniques for which they are trained.

Whitstable lifeboat. Picture: RNLI Whitstable Lifeboat Station/Facebook
Whitstable lifeboat. Picture: RNLI Whitstable Lifeboat Station/Facebook

“This incident highlights the importance of people being aware of what the tide is doing and that communications cannot always be relied upon in the vicinity of cliffs or high ground."

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