Published: May 15, 2011
Coastguard climber rescues stranded biologist on Brean Down

A marine biologist was rescued by Coastguards on Sunday (May 15th) after getting cut off by the incoming tide at the end of Brean Down.

Liz Francis, 68, from Washington in America, got into difficulty while photographing sea anemones at the base of Brean Down near the wartime fort.

She lost her way back to the main footpath, twisted her ankle and then found herself cut-off by the incoming sea.

Liz, who is on a month-long holiday in the UK, used a mobile phone to alert Coastguards.

She told "I didn't know the emergency number here in the UK, so dialled 911 - the American emergency number - and fortunately got diverted through to the police who put me in touch with the Coastguard."

Two lifeboats from Weston were launched to locate her, but as she was out of their reach, Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards sent a cliff climber down onto the rocks to rescue her.

Liz told "I was shaking with worry because I knew I'd put myself in a potentially life-threatening position. I was so relieved when I saw the climber being lowered down to me. He was so calm - I knew I was in safe hands."

Burnham Coastguard Officer Ian Jefferies said: "With guidance from the crew of the Weston lifeboats below, we lowered our cliff technician down to the casualty and attached a harness to her before hoisting her up the cliffs."

"She was checked over and it was quickly established that her ankle injury did not require an ambulance. She was fortunate that we were able to carry out the rescue before the tide reached her."

Liz added: "I am very grateful for the help of the Coastguards and lifeboats, who were so skilled. I had checked the tide times, but got into difficulty when I lost my way."

Pictured: Burnham Coastguards at the scene of Sunday's incident on Brean Down in which Liz, pictured top, was rescued


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