'It could have been a different story': Rescuer tells of woman's lucky break after ill-fated beach walk
A woman and her dogs could have easily been left stranded on a cold and isolated cliff-side ledge if it were not for a stroke of luck, according to the team that rescued her.
The woman, believed to be in her early 50s, was walking her two canines along the wet and wild coast at Sidestrand on Sunday afternoon (November 4) when darkness, and the tide, crept in.
Spying what she thought was a path leading up the cliffs she made for higher ground, but could get no further than a ledge about 20 feet from the top.
Pete Revell, rescue officer from Bacton Coastguard, was among those called to help just after 4pm, along with the Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard teams.
Mr Revell said they had to drive across a ploughed field to reach the spot above the ledge, which was some distance from the nearest road or building.
He said the incident could have easily turned out differently.
Mr Revell said: “She had gone for a walk towards Overstrand and saw that the tide had cut her off. She thought there was a path going up the cliffs and that’s when she got into difficulty.
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“She started shouting out for help and luckily for her there was another dog walker on top of the cliffs, and he called 999.
“If that dog walker hadn’t been there it could have been a different story because it was pitch black and it’s a long way from anywhere.”
Mr Revell said the teams used ropes to get down to the ledge, where the rescuee insisted they first get the dogs to safety.
He said: “They were getting spooked because there were fireworks going off in the area as well.
“We used our dog bags that we can put dogs into and lift them up in.”
Mr Revell said the woman was then brought up to the top of the cliffs, cold and shaken, but unharmed.
He said: “There was no need for medical attention. We drove her to her holiday home near Mundesley.
“While all this was going on her partner also called 999 as he was getting concerned about her.”
Mr Revell said the incident was a reminder for people who wanted to walk along the beach to check tide times if they were unsure about conditions.
He added: “We would like to thank the person who heard her cries for help and called 999 and the police officer who reassured the lady while waiting for the Coastguard Rescue teams.”
More information about Norfolk’s tides and beach safety can be found here: www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk .