Woman, 27, warns of dangers of entering coastal caves after climbing into an 80ft Cornish blowhole thinking it would be a ‘fun adventure’ but ended up having to be rescued by lifeguards
- Max Wilson, 28, and Lucy Pattinson, 27, visited the Round Hole, near Padstow, on July 26
- They climbed into the hole before realising getting back up would be dangerous
- Wilson managed to climb out but Pattinson had to be rescued by lifeguards
- Major bad falls have been reported and it is advised not to go near the edge
Lifeguards rescued an exhausted woman stuck at the bottom of a 80 feet blowhole, after a friend who had managed to scramble out alerted them.
Max Wilson, 28, was on holiday in Cornwall with Lucy Pattinson, 27, from Devon, when the pair decided to go for a walk and explore the landmark near Padstow, known locally as Round Hole.
The pair soon climbed down into the opening of the blowhole, but realised the way out involved an almost vertical ascent.
Wilson managed to limb his way out and immediately rushed back to the beach to seek help for Wilson.
Round Hole, near Padstow, is a large blowhole with a depth of just over 24 metres. It is a very prominent and visited landmark in Cornwall but lifeguards advise against going near the edge
Max Wilson, 28, and Lucy Wilson, 27, (far right) decided to go on an adventure and climbed down the blowhole
The incident happened on Monday, July 26, at around 1pm.
Round Hole is a very large blowhole with a depth of just over 24metres.
A cave situated at the bottom connects to the sea and through to Trevone beach.
Many people visit the impressive landmark, situated on the headland north of Trevone beach, by walking along the coast path.
Pattinson said: ‘I am so grateful to the RNLI lifeguards who came to rescue me, they are legends.
‘I really think we just weren’t aware of the seriousness of the situation we were in at the time, as we were trying to deal with it.
‘Looking back I realise it could have been a very different outcome and I wanted to share my story to raise awareness of the dangers.’
‘When we got to the hole we thought; ‘that looks fun, let’s go on an adventure, let’s climb down.’
‘So Max went down first and I took my bag off at the top and followed down after him. It just didn’t seem that dangerous on the way down, as we were going down we didn’t even look up or think about how we were possibly going to get out.
‘When we were at the bottom, the cave down there was so beautiful we were just exploring and enjoying the cave and rocks. We sat there for ages just admiring it all.’
After some time in the cave, the pair decided to head back out, but soon understood they were in quite a difficult and dangerous situation.
‘When we looked at the route we’d come down, it looked almost vertical, I instantly thought, ‘how did we not realise how dangerous this was on the way down?’ said Patterson.
Even though the ascent was very steep, Patterson attempted to climb out with some encouragement from Wilson.
She climbed at least 8feet, but the earth was dry and sandy and it made it difficult for her to grab hold of.
Trying to grab grass but failing, she slid all the way back down the side of the hole.
Thankfully, she remembered to lean forward as there were so many rocks beneath her.
She had minor cuts on her legs from sliding down.
The friends soon realised climbing out of the blowhole was going to be dangerous. ‘When we looked at the route we’d come down, it looked almost vertical, I instantly thought, ‘how did we not realise how dangerous this was on the way down?’ said Patterson
Pattinson tried to climb out but slid down and cut her legs in the fall. Wilson tried to climb too but fell on his back. He tried once again and after more than hour he reached the top. He then ran to the beach and asked for help
Wilson tried to climb out and also slid down and fell onto his back, but did not experience any serious injury.
He attempted again, this time getting further up onto a ledge closer to the top.
He sat there for a while as him and Patterson tried to shout for help to passers by.
No one heard their calls, so Wilson made the decision to try and climb the last section which seemed even more precarious.
After an exhausting attempt of over an hour, he managed to get to the top, and went to the beach to get help from lifeguards.
The weather was bright and sunny, the sea was very calm and the tide was still going out when Max approached the lifeguards for help, letting them know his friend was still stuck at the bottom of the blowhole.
Trevone RNLI lifeguards radioed the team on neighboring Harlyn beach to launch an inshore rescue boat (IRB).
The lifeguards knew they could get to Pattison using the IRB because the sea was calm.
Lifeguards Jake Dean and Steve Ducker launched the IRB and headed towards the sea cave.
Patterson managed to climb from the blowhole through the cave and swim over towards Ducker, who had got out of the IRB to meet her and help her onboard.
Trevone RNLI lifeguards radioed the team on neighbouring Harlyn beach to launch an inshore rescue boat (IRB). Lifeguards Jake Dean (helm) and Steve Ducker (crew) launched the IRB and headed towards the sea cave
Leon Bennett, Lifeguard Supervisor for Padstow said: ‘Lucy and Max are very lucky to have only come away with minor injuries. He said that there have been major incidents of people having bad falls in Round Hole over the years
They checked her minor injuries, but found her otherwise unharmed and grateful to be heading back to safety.
Once at the beach, the lifeguards made sure they were okay and needed no further medical assistance.
The prominent landmark in the north east of Cornwall was originally a sea cave, but after tens of thousands of years of erosion, the walls are extremely unstable.
Fifty years ago, it was allowed to climb down Round Hole and out to the beach on the other side if the tide permitted.
Nowadays, visitors are advised against climbing down.
Leon Bennett, Lifeguard Supervisor for Padstow said: ‘Lucy and Max are very lucky to have only come away with minor injuries.’
Bennet said there have been major incidents of people having bad falls in Round Hole over the years.
He urged people to take precautions when visiting the landmark and advised not to attempt to climb it down, as it might result in injury.
‘If you are visiting the blowhole, stay back a safe distance from the edge and if you are walking a dog near by always have it on a lead.
‘In any emergency situation on the coast, you should always call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard,’ Bennet said.
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