Woman Rescued Just 5Km into Round-UK Walk

A 28-year-old woman had to be rescued less than five kilometres after beginning her walk around the UK.

The unnamed Coventry woman set off from Minehead, Somerset and ran into trouble when rising tides trapped her below steep cliffs.

She had planned to walk the 1,014km South West Coast Path, but deviated off-trail to the beach below. By the time she realized her error, the rising tide had trapped her and she had to call for help.

A lifeboat drew close to shore, and rescuer Karla Thresher swam to meet her. She explained to the trekker that the only way off was to swim to the boat. The woman swapped her huge backpack for a lifejacket and swam to the boat. Thresher followed, grappling with the sizeable pack.

Uninjured and undeterred, the woman was supposedly going to begin her trek again the following day.

Rescuer Karla Thresher, centre.


Recreational walker numbers have spiked in the UK in recent years, and so have rescues. “Lots of people have just read books about coastal walking and think: ‘Oh, I’ll give that a go’,” said Thresher. She adds that rescues are particularly common along this section of coastline.

Depending on the route, a walk around Britain covers 4,300km to over 10,000km. The exact number of people who have walked the entire distance is unknown, but one website suggests that 53 have completed the route in one go.

Alex Myall is a writer for Explorers Web. She has been writing about exploration and historical expeditions for four years. Previously she wrote about the human body in relation to exercise for publications and websites based in New Zealand. She also wrote modules for the Zealand Certificate of Exercise, Level 4. Based on Wellington’s South Coast, New Zealand, Myall is a full-time mother of two young girls, an enthusiastic trail runner, and a fanatical traveler. She also owns and operates a small travel agency.

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1 year ago

This is an ominous beginning. One dreads to think what might happen next. These expeditions are more challenging than they might appear.

Lenore Jones
Lenore Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Tal

Let’s hope she’ll do fine the rest of the way. Failing on a first try is common, after all. Thank goodness for rescuers!

1 year ago
Reply to  Lenore Jones

Careful route study, compass skills and tide tables are necessary for success at an endeavour like this – along with thorough planning and study of the weather. The coast path at Minehead runs above the beach, and is clearly marked. ‘Falling on a first try’ can be prevented or mitigated by good planning. It’s not inevitable. One should make every effort not to have to involve rescuers – because their lives can be put at risk when they are mobilised. Let’s hope this woman will learn from this mistake, and increase her skills – quickly.