RAF rescues school party from tide at Hartland Quay

EIGHT teenagers from Kingsley School, Bideford, and their two teachers were rescued from Hartland Quay late yesterday afternoon, after they were cut off by the tide. They were airlifted to safety by an RAF Sea King helicopter from Chivenor in what Cpl St

NINE teenagers from Kingsley School, Bideford, and their two teachers were rescued from Hartland Quay late yesterday afternoon, after they were cut off by the tide.They were airlifted to safety by an RAF Sea King helicopter from Chivenor in what Cpl Steve Morrish described as a "challenging" exercise. Swansea Coastguard received a call from staff at the Hartland Quay Hotel at 4:55pm, telling them that that it appeared there were people in difficulty at the bottom of the 300ft cliff. Hartland Coastguard Rescue team was sent to the scene and requested the launch of the Clovelly RNLI inshore lifeboat, as well as scrambling Rescue helicopter 169 from RAF Chivenor. Phill Coles, Watch Officer at the Swansea Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, said: "I am pleased to say that all the teenagers and the two teachers were successfully airlifted to the top of the cliff. They were met by Coastguard Rescue Officers. One of the teenagers was sent to the North Devon District Hospital as a precautionary measure as he received a knock to his leg by a rock. "We understand the children were on a school outing, when they got caught out by the tide and found themselves cut off. One of the teachers attempted to climb the 300ft loose shale cliff to raise the alarm, not knowing that the alarm had been raised. "We would like to remind the public when visiting the coast to always be prepared and plan your walk by familiarising yourself with the tides, wear appropriate clothing and always ensure that someone knows what your itinerary is. Never attempt to climb a cliff and risk the safety of your own life and others."Cpl Steve Morrish, at RAF Chivenor, took the emergency call just before 5pm yesterday and the search and rescue helicopter was in the air within 10 minutes."It was challenging in the fact that the wind was blowing at 25 miles per hour from the north west, but that is what we train for," He said For safety advice on the coast visit www.mcga.gov.uk or contact your local Coastguard station.


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