Boy rescued from Whitey Rock at Whitehaven

A 13-year-old boy was rescued after becoming stranded on a crumbling ledge on the Cumbrian coast.

The teenager, who was on holiday from London, had climbed 30ft up Whitey Rock at Whitehaven.

A family member raised the alarm on Thursday, sparking a rescue operation involving a cliff rescue team, coastguard, lifeboat and firefighters.

Rescuers eventually lowered him to the beach below, describing the operation as "difficult and dangerous".

A spokesman for the Whitehaven Coast Rescue Team said: "The boy had climbed 30ft of the 40ft shale outcrop on the beach at Whitehaven, when he became stranded on a crumbling ledge.

"Fortunately he managed to alert a family member to his predicament and the police were called who informed the coastguard.

'Unstable and slippery'

"We were alerted and deployed a cliff rescue team to the top of the outcrop and a water rescue team to stand by at the base of the rock as the tide was rapidly flooding.

"In addition St. Bees Lifeboat was launched to stand by as the tide approached.

"The team managed to reach the boy from the top of the outcrop and lowered him down the more stable seaward side of the rock.

"The rescue was made difficult and dangerous due to the shale make-up of the rock making the cliff face unstable and slippery. There was a constant danger of either the youth slipping off the ledge, or the ledge itself crumbling away.

Coastguard Watch Officer Brian George added the boy had been "extremely lucky".

"With the summer holiday season fast approaching this incident serves as a reminder that people of all ages should use extreme caution around cliffs and rocks on the coast."

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