Climber winched from crevice

A climber who fell at Minchin Hole Cave near Swansea, UK last weekend was dramatically rescued by the Coastguard helicopter after the winchman was flown through a narrow cliff crevice to reach the stricken casualty – all captured on the helicopter's winch cam.

On 15 April, a group of climbers had been climbing at Minchin Hole, Swansea, when a male climber was injured after falling 5m (16 feet) onto rocks. At around 15.40hrs another member of the climbing group called for Coastguard assistance.

Mumbles and Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Teams were immediately sent to the location, but due to its inaccessible location were unable reach the casualty using their specialist rope rescue equipment said the Coastguard. The Mumbles Lifeboat RNLI​ crews were able to reach the casualty and move him to a wider break in the hole so that the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at St Athan could winch the casualty safely and transfer him to Swansea Morriston Hospital.

Jonathan Mustard, aeronautical operations controller for the UK Coastguard, said: “This is an amazing example of the teamwork required at an inaccessible location when time is of the essence. This teamwork comes from the dedicated training exercises our helicopter crews, Coastguard Rescue Teams and the RNLI​ crews undertake all year round.”

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