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Elderly woman hurt in Arnside cliff fall

[A]t 12.30pm today, Sunday 18 March, Morecambe’s volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked by the Coastguard to assist air ambulance, local coastguard and mountain rescue teams; who had gone to the assistance of a 70-year-old woman who had fallen approximately 60 feet from the cliff top path between Silverdale and Arnside.

In strong wind and against an ebbing tide, the inshore rescue lifeboat launched immediately from Morecambe. Meanwhile, due to the strong wind, the inshore rescue hovercraft was transported to Arnside by road and launched from there.

On arrival at the scene of the incident, the inshore lifeboat crew passed their oxygen bottle to the medical team treating the casualty, before moving off into deeper water.

The inshore rescue hovercraft then arrived and stood by on scene; in order to evacuate the casualty in the event this could not be achieved safely by helicopter.

Coastguard helicopter, Rescue 936, from Caernarfon arrived on scene but it was decided that the woman could be safely evacuated in the air ambulance; enabling the coastguard helicopter to divert to another incident on Helvellyn.

When the on-scene doctor was satisfied that it was safe to transport the casualty, the air ambulance landed on the beach and she was transported to hospital.

Both RNLI craft then returned to station.

Morecambe RNLI volunteer Deputy Launching Authority, Colin Midwinter, said: “This was a very serious incident and we were glad to be able to play our part in what was an excellent example of multi-agency co-operation.”

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