Coastguard Rescue Helicopter and Needles Coastguard scrambled to the West Wight

The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee on the Solent has been scrambled to the Isle of Wight this afternoon.

The rescue helicopter and a coastguard search and rescue team along with the Freshwater Independent lifeboat were mobilised just after 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon (March 31st) following an incident involving a couple who were free climbing and had got into difficulty on the Needles.

The two free climbers called 999 and asked for the Coastguard after getting into difficulty at the Isle of Wight beauty spot.

The pair got into difficulty approximately 35 meters above the water, on the northern side of the second island at the Needles. Freshwater independent lifeboat, Needles Coastguard Rescue Team and the HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter from Lee on Solent were all sent, and the Needles NCI assisted by providing information.

The climbers were winched off the Needles by the helicopter and taken to the headland, where they were met by Needles Coastguard Rescue Team.

William Mills, Senior Maritime Operations Officer, HM Coastguard said, ‘When the free climbers into difficulty they did exactly the right thing by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard. Thankfully after being checked over by the helicopter’s winchman paramedic both men were able to make their own way home.

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