Incident directory

2017 - Clifton Suspension Bridge

Country:

UK

  • Fall/ working from height

Severity:

Near miss

Description

Date of event

20th February 2017

Time of event

Approximately 19:09 (INITIAL CALL)

Name of premises

The Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Location

Bridge Road, Leigh Woods, Abbots Leigh, Bristol.

Service area

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS)

Nature of incident

Rescue from height.

Property type

Road Bridge.

Premises use

Road Bridge for any relevant road user and pedestrians.

Construction type and materials

Completed in 1864, primarily made from brick, stone and wrought Iron, some concrete and tarmac. The overall length is approximately 412 m, spanning 214 m, with a clearance of approximately 75 m above high water.

Occupancy

Members of public and staff.

Fire source and location of fire

N/A

Synopsis

Brief Synopsis

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS) were called to ‘person on the wrong side of the bridge threatening to jump’ on the 20th February 2017 at approximately 19:09. To minimise unnecessary stress to the casualty/s involved in this incident, as usual, a silent approach to the incident was conducted. On arrival crews were faced with an inebriated and distressed person sat in a precarious position on an approximately 1 ft wide ledge, approximately 6 ft down on the unsafe side of the bridge. Due to the emotional state of the casualty a decision was reached after liaison with Police negotiator/s that 2 AFRS line rescue operatives would deploy over the side into an area of fall potential and rescue the casualty.

The conditions were dark. A 2 line system was set up using a certified belay/anchor point and what firefighters thought were certified belay/anchor points. The rescue was successfully carried out.

After the rescue it became apparent from information from the Bridgemaster that some of the belay/anchor points used were not designated load/tested eye bolts and had been placed in position without the knowledge of AFRS in order to and act as points to hang banners and footpath closed notices if required.

The eyebolts were of almost exact appearance to the certified belay/anchor points but only had an approximate thread length of 20 mm.

Liaison by AFRS and the Bridgemaster in relation to replacing the smaller fixings and eyebolts has been carried out.

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Photo 1

Clifton Suspension Bridge, image taken previously to incident by Adrian Pingstone kindly submitted for free use without condition via Wikipedia, 2017.

Photo 2

Courtesy of D. Hodges & Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Photo 3

Courtesy of D. Hodges & Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Photo 4

Courtesy of D. Hodges & Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Main findings, key lessons & areas for learning

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Fire & Rescue Service summary of main findings, conclusions, key lessons & recommendations

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

FBU summary of main findings, conclusions, key lessons & recommendations

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Other report summary of main findings, conclusions, key lessons &recommendations

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

IFE Commentary & lessons if applicable

None produced at this time.

Known available source documents

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

FRS Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

FBU Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Incident Report/s and/or improvement notices

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Avon and Somerset Police Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

South West Ambulance Service Incident Report

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Building Research Establishment (BRE) Reports/investigations/research

N/A

Coroner’s report/s and/or regulation 28 notices

N/A

Other information sources

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Shilton, S. (2017). Fire alert 02/2017. Near miss. Belay/anchor points on the Clifton Suspension Bridge. [pdf]. Available here. Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Wikipedia, (2017). Clifton suspension bridge. [online]. Available at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifton_Suspension_Bridge#/media/File:Clifton.bridge.arp.750pix.jpg [Accessed 12th March 2017].

Service learning material

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Videos available

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

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