Steve Dorrity has been a volunteer for the St John Cliff Rescue team for two years.
Steve says: “I come from a climbing and mountaineering background. Having been a member of a mountain rescue team in the past I am happy to use any skills I have to assist St John Cliff Rescue team. The majority of the current team are also members of the Guernsey Mountaineering Club and so we know each other well and are able to transfer our skills to Guernsey’s cliffs, which we know very well.
We are on call to give technical expertise if there’s an incident that requires us to help someone in trouble, not only on any of Guernsey’s cliffs but also our neighboring islands. I am able to take on any role within the team: face member, top team or principle.
I love the camaraderie of working with a team, helping to solve problems and the challenge of potentially having to deal with a casualty in difficult circumstances. I have trust in my team mates to keep me safe and I know they trust me too.
My first live callout was to go to the rescue of two men who had become trapped by the rising tide between Moulin Huet and Petit Port. Working with Guernsey Police, St John and the RNLI Lifeboat, we were able to locate the men and send two members of St John Cliff Rescue team down to assist them. I was designated as Incident Principle so took charge of the technical aspects of the rescue.
The rescue was quite difficult as the men were trapped in an awkward place and required us to run out over 200m of rope to reach them. This meant that we had to extend the ropes at the same time as making sure that the team was kept secure. While the men were secured, the top team re-rigged the anchors to create a haul system and the men, along with the face team, were bought up to the top, a little cold, wet and scratched but otherwise quite safe.
Using the training we had received through St John, along with our own skills, to affect a successful outcome was very satisfying and gave a huge boost to the confidence of the team.”