A CORNWALL Search and Rescue team member has pushed himself to new limits after finishing the UK’s first ever ‘coasteering’ race.

Talan Bellman, 35, took part in ‘Man Vs Coast’, a brand new swimming and running event held for the first time ever Saturday (July 7) near Marazion.

And despite shattered legs, Talan has raised much-needed funds - and awareness - for his volunteer emergency crew in the process.

Man Vs Coast, organised by UK firm Rat Race Adventure Sports, saw hundreds of competitors running more than 24 miles from St Michael’s Mount to Land’s End.

Along the way they had to take part in coasteering - an activity that involves low level rock climbing, sea swimming, and cliff jumps into sea.

Talan, from Redruth, says he clocked a staggering 4,590ft of ascent - taller than the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis - while burning some 5,529 calories in the process.

And the Mines Officer for Cornwall Search and Rescue Team says that despite his sore limbs he hopes the feat will shine a light on an important issue.

He says the county is riddled with underground mine shafts which pose a risk to both humans and animals - with many of their rescues involving stranded dogs.

Falmouth Packet:

The Cornwall Search and Rescue Team

And Talan, an experienced caver and member of the ‘Carbis Bay Crew’, says he wants to warm both residents and visitors to the region to be wary of the dangers.

The property maintenance manager explains: “Cornwall has a rich heritage of mining and as such there are literally thousands of abandoned shafts and tunnels.

“Entering such an environment is fraught with risk and I’d like the public to be reminded of the dangers.

“And I also want to shine a light on an organisation which does such important work for the entire county."

Talan says Cornwall Search and Rescue Team deal with around 40 call-outs each year and has 60 operational surface team members across the county.

The team are on call 24 hours a day and operational costs are around £20,000 each year to keep the service running, excluding big purchases such as vehicles.

And their expertise was brought into sharp focus in September last year when Welsh tourist Andrew Williams fell 50ft down a mineshaft.

Talan was involved in that six-hour rescue, as Andrew was brought to the surface - miraculously alive - after his ordeal at Porth Nanven, near Cape Cornwall.

The victim later thanked the rescue team, saying: “The professionalism and knowledge of the teams that risked their lives to get me out was amazing. Many thanks to everyone that was involved in rescuing me yesterday and without a doubt saving my life.”

As for the Man v Coast race itself, Talan admits it was ‘painful but brilliant’.

He adds: “I finished in a time just over six hours, which I’m happy with considered how tough the terrain was and the fact there was a lot of swimming.

“It was damn gruelling, as the coastal path is so steep in places.

“But it was also a fantastic event. All the marshals were amazing and gave you a real lift as they cheered you on.

“And running across the golden sands at Sennen to the finish line - weaving between the sunbathing tourists - was a moment I’ll cherish for a long time to come.”

Jim Mee, founder of Rat Race, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the inaugural Man v Coast even proved such a success.

“We were blessed with incredible, sunny weather.

“But it was the camaraderie of the competitors that really shone through on a day where everyone helped each other, particularly when it come to overcoming fears on some of the big cliff jumps.

“Everyone at Rat Race looks forward to returning to Lands’ End once more next year."