Helicopter rescue of Dorset paraglider featured on TV today

Helicopter rescue of Dorset paraglider featured on TV today

Published by George Sharpe at 12:04pm 9th March 2020. (Updated at 12:12pm 9th March 2020)

West Bay and Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team are appearing on BBC One today.

BBC One's 'Saved on Camera' follows rescue stories - as caught on camera by phones, CCTV and dash-cams.

In 2018 teams from West Bay and Lyme Regis rescued a paraglider who crashed and was stranded on the side of Thorncombe Beacon. They were supported by the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter as well as the Police, Fire and Ambulance services.

The teams were reunited with the person they rescued last year to tell their part of the story on camera. 

*** CALLOUT #030-2018 *** 15/07/18 - 17.54 Cliff Rescue / Downed Paraglider - Thorncombe Beacon The whole team was paged on Sunday evening by Solent Coastguard NMOC (National Maritime Operations Centre) to reports of a paraglider that had crashed into the side of Thorncombe Beacon with the pilot now trapped on the cliff face. All available officers from West Bay including the teams SO (Station Officer) and DSO (Deputy Station Officer) quickly made their way to the station, gathered their rescue equipment and vehicle, then headed for Seatown. Our flank team at Lyme Regis were also paged to respond as was Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 175 based at Solent, the South Western Ambulance Service, Dorset Police and the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service along with their Technical Rope Rescue Team. The West Bay officers soon arrived at Seatown, shortly followed by a Paramedic Response Vehicle and the Lyme Regis Team. All then headed off-road to Thorncombe Beacon. Once on scene, members of the public and other paraglider pilots quickly indicated the location of the trapped casualty who was found to be just to the East of the Beacon, around 60 meters down the 145 meter cliff. He was reported to be uninjured but clinging onto the cliff face. Under the command of the West Bay OIC (Officer in Charge) a full rope rescue system was quickly set up and a cliff rescue officer was prepared to deploy. As the officers were setting up, Rescue Helicopter 175 arrived and was able to survey the scene from the air. Due to the precarious position of the casualty, the proximity of his paragliding wing and the downdraft of the helicopter, it was decided that a rope rescue would be the safest option for all involved. The helicopter then stood off at a safe distance to provide communications and an ‘eye in the sky’ as the cliff rescue officer was deployed over the edge. Guided by the helicopter and other Coastguard's from a nearby vantage point, the cliff rescue officer was lowered to the casualties paragliding wing which was snagged on the cliff face just above the pilots position. Once it was confirmed that the pilot was no longer attached to any of his equipment, the officer released the wing and dropped it out of the way so it would not interfere with the rescue. He then lowered himself down, arriving next to the casualty who was perched on a very narrow ledge, facing the cliff, holding onto a rock. The casualty was secured into a Rescue Harness and when ready, both pilot and officer were then winched back to the top of the cliff. The pilot was checked over by the on-scene paramedic and was treated for some minor cuts and grazes but was otherwise uninjured. A second Coastguard Officer was then rigged and deployed over the edge of the cliff to retrieve the paragliding wing and equipment, as well as the pilots personal possessions which were still on the cliff face. Once all Coastguard’s were back in a place of safety, the officers set about packing up all of their equipment before being stood down by Solent to return to station. An excellent outcome to a very precarious situation and a great example of the Coastguard teams, a Coastguard helicopter and other emergency services all working together to secure the casualty. Stay Safe on the Coast. But if you find yourself in difficulty or if you are concerned for others, do not hesitate… Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. To Search • To Rescue • To Save.

Posted by West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team on Monday, 16 July 2018

A spokesperson from West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team said:

"We were delighted to be involved in the filming which helps promote the role of the Coastguard, and also the work that our Volunteer Rescue Officers carry out."

The show airs at 11:45am on BBC One, you can see it on BBC iPlayer.