Dorset

Morse code torch signal helps man who broke his leg

Tim Robinson being rescued by the RNLI Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Army reservist Tim Robinson used a miniature torch to signal to his wife

An army reservist who broke his leg on a Dorset beach used Morse code with his torch to signal for help.

Sgt Tim Robinson was walking under Golden Cap, east of Lyme Regis, when he slipped on some seaweed.

As it was getting dark, Sgt Robinson, who was visiting from Derbyshire, used his torch to signal "SOS" in Morse code to his wife, more than a mile away.

The 54-year-old reservist, who has done three tours in the Middle East was taken to Dorset County Hospital.

Sgt Robinson was walking on his own on the Jurassic Coast when he slipped, fell and broke his leg on Saturday 7 January.

He was two miles away from the nearest town and did not have a mobile phone on him.

'Disbelief and denial'

He said: "I stepped on some seaweed and slipped, then my leg snapped.

"I fell backwards and I heard it go with a large crack, my foot was at a 45 degree angle.

Image copyright Richard Slessor
Image caption Sgt Robinson was walking near Seatown in Dorset when he broke his leg

"[There's a] moment of disbelief and denial, and then you pull yourself together and think, 'what have I got with me and what am I going to do?'."

He staggered and crawled for about two hours before he took out his miniature torch and began signalling towards his hotel, where he hoped his wife would be looking for him.

The reservist regimentally signalled the SOS Morse code and then swung the torch over his head - a technique army officers use to signal helicopters. He then crawled 50 yards.

He repeated the process three times before his wife found him by following the signals. She then called the emergency services.

He was taken by lifeboat to Lyme Regis before being transferred by ambulance to hospital.

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