At 11:30pm last night (Tuesday 8 July 2014), Humber Coastguard was contacted by the police regarding a missing fisherman. The man had descended the cliffs by rope at Castle Chamber Scar, between Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay. The tide was coming in and the fisherman had lost battery power in his head torch and was unable to find the rope which led him back to the cliff top. He was able to phone for assistance, but the mobile telephone coverage in the area was patchy.
Humber Coastguard coordinated the search for the man involving Coastguard rescue teams from Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay. The Whitby inshore and all weather RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter from RAF Leconfield were also tasked to the scene.
The lifeboat spotted the man who was becoming cut off by the tide, and the helicopter airlifted him back to the cliff top.
Bev Allen, Humber Coastguard Watch Manager, said:
It is essential to make sure you are properly equipped for this type of activity. This gentleman could have been spotted faster if he had been wearing high visibility clothing, rather than a dark outfit. Unfortunately this area has remote telephone signal coverage and we were unable to contact him on his mobile phone.
We recommend that night fishers always carry back up safety equipment, such as replacement batteries for torches, wear reflective safety clothing and some kind of flotation device in case you enter the water by mistake.