Woman rescued after climbing down 80ft 'blowhole' near Padstow in Cornwall

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A woman had to be rescued after getting stuck at the bottom of an 80ft blowhole in Cornwall.

RNLI lifeguards on Trevone Beach were alerted to a woman stuck at the bottom of a large crack in the rock - known as a blowhole - by her exhausted friend who had managed to scramble out after several attempts at escaping.

Max Wilson, 28, lives in Copenhagen and was on holiday in Cornwall with his friend Lucy Pattinson, 27, from Devon.

The pair decided to go for a walk and explore the landmark known locally as Round Hole.

The landmark is a blowhole - also known as a marine geyser - which sees air and spray expelled through it as waves break on the shore. It is around 24 metres deep and located just north of Trevone Beach near Padstow.

The pair got into trouble when they decided to climb down inside the opening of the blowhole.

Round Hole near Trevone Credit: BPM Media

Lucy said: “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.”

There is a cave at the bottom of the blowhole which connects to the sea and through to Trevone Beach.

Lucy added: “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 Lucy and Max decided to head back out, but soon realised they were in a difficult and dangerous situation.

"When we looked at the route we’d come down, it looked almost vertical,” she said.

“I think I climbed at least 8ft, maybe even higher, but the earth was really dry and sandy and it made it difficult to grab hold of.

"I could feel myself slipping, I tried to grab for some grass but it ripped away and I slid all the way back down the side of the hole."

Lucy cut her legs as she slid down and Max suffered a similar fall as he too tried to clamber out.

“When I was trying to climb out myself I wasn’t really thinking about my safety, but when I watched Max fall it made me realise just how dangerous it was.”

The pair managed to get to a higher ledge where they shouted for help, but no-one responded to their calls and so Max made the decision to climb final precarious section.

After an exhausting attempt which took more an hour, Max managed to get to the top. They decided he should go to the beach to get the help of the lifeguards.

Luckily 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.

Trevone RNLI lifeguards radioed the team on neighbouring Harlyn Beach to launch the inshore rescue boat and lifeguards Jake Dean and Steve Ducker headed towards a sea cave which connects to the blowhole.

Lucy managed to climb from the blowhole through the cave and swim over towards Steve, who had gotten out of the boat to meet her and help her onboard.

Lucy had sustained minor injuries but was otherwise unharmed.

She thanked the RNLI crews who rescued her, adding: "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."

Leon Bennett, lifeguard supervisor for Padstow, said the pair are "very lucky" to have suffered only minor injuries.

"Over the years there have been some major incidents of people having bad falls in Round Hole," he said.

“We urge people to take precautions if visiting the landmark. Do not attempt to climb down it, as this could cause serious injury. If you are visiting the blowhole, stay back a safe distance from the edge and if you are walking a dog nearby 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.