Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

August 28, 2004
Burnham Coastguard and Weston RNLI in rescue drama at Brean Down

A man was recovering in hospital after falling down cliffs into a narrow gulley at Brean Down Fort at around 4pm on Saturday August 28th, 2004.

The man lost his footing and slipped down an 18ft gully, seriously injuring both legs.

He also sustained head injuries after rocks fell on to him. Burnham Coastguard and Weston-super-Mare RNLI's lifeboat were called to the scene, as pictured here.

Coastguard Officer Steve Bird said it was a race against time to save the man.

"We were in danger of being washed away," he added. "The water was coming up higher and higher on to the ledge."

"We had to get him into the stretcher and up out of the water."

"At one point we had four lifeboatmen in the water and myself and the ambulance men were also getting absolutely soaked with the waves that were crashing into the gulley.

"We safely got him back up the cliff on the stretcher all strapped in, then he was airlifted by the air ambulance to Weston General Hospital."

A rescue helicopter from Portland was also involved in the rescue.

On Sunday morning, a spokesman for the hospital said the man's condition was "comfortable" and he was later released.


Burnham Coastguard and hovercraft teams rehearse cliff rescue at Brean Down

Interactive photo of Brean Down Fort

Beach Safety Guide


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