THREE members of Penarth Coastguard recently qualified to undertake additional cliff rescue duties.

Following a period of intense training within their local team, three members of Penarth Coastguard joined other Coastguards from around south and west Wales for a day long assessment at Ogmore-by-Sea which culminated in them being awarded various national competency levels.

Gemma Sawyer and Sarah Murphy qualified as Rope Rescue Technicians, whilst Steve Wilford qualified as a Rope Rescue Operator.

These designations mean that Gemma and Sarah are now able to descend by rope to rescue persons trapped on the cliff, whilst Steve is now qualified to perform the cliff top duties required to ensure the technician and the casualty return to safety.

Station Officer Paul Gallone said: “Rope rescue operations are one of the major tasks Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team is required to perform and which requires our crew to work in a hazardous and dynamic environment. These qualifications are nationally recognised and mean that Gemma, Sarah and Steve are able not only to work with the rest of the Penarth team on cliff incidents but can also work anywhere within the UK with other trained professionals."

If you would like to know more about the work of H.M. Coastguard in this area please look at their website which gives information on the Coastguard Service, details of incidents attended by the local crew as well as providing safety advice and useful links to other maritime related organisations.