Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Belfast mountain fall German student hailed as hero by rescuers

By Claire Williamson

Published 29/11/2016

David McCrum (pictured), who along with friend Richard Lamont, located the injured woman and instigated the rescue operation on Cavehill
David McCrum (pictured), who along with friend Richard Lamont, located the injured woman and instigated the rescue operation on Cavehill
David McCrum and friend Richard Lamont, located the injured woman and instigated the rescue operation on Cavehill

It was an emotional reunion as two men met with their "hero" - the 20-year-old student who survived a horrific overnight ordeal in the freezing cold after falling from Cavehill.

The Queen's University student, who is German, is recovering in hospital after her trauma.

She was airlifted to hospital after being found by the duo, who were out jogging last Wednesday.

She told her rescuers that she had been lying there since about 3pm the day before.

It's understood the student was swept off well-known landmark Napoleon's Nose by a sudden gust of wind while taking photographs.

The alarm was raised after Richard Lamont and David McCrum found a handbag in the area.

Richard took the bag home so he could find out who it belonged to and return it.

After finding a QUB student card he contacted the university. It quickly got back with its concerns about her, as she hadn't turned up for classes.

David then went back up Cavehill to the area they found the bag and located a coat and hat.

When he called out he heard a voice, and the rescue operation was launched.

The three were reunited on Saturday night in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

An emotional David said she now had "a brother for life".

He said: "I did not sleep well for two nights until I saw her in hospital and found out she would make a full recovery - I went home and I slept like a baby.

"She is a true warrior with mental strength that is a credit to her.

"She survived 28 hours of hell. She is my hero." David added that it was the woman's incredible mental resolve that got her through the night.

"Looking into the eyes of someone fighting for their life touches you," he said.

"I could not get that image out of my head until I saw her safe and well in the hospital."

Richard said it was a great relief to see her at the weekend following her ordeal.

He said: "She seems to be improving every day. I don't think people grasp the distance she travelled after she fell. She fell about 75-80ft and was knocked out, because she was almost about 100ft away from where she fell. That's what saved her in a way - that's what the doctors were saying."

Reflecting on her experience, Richard said it could have been "so much worse".

"There were so many different aspects that just went for her, I definitely think that day was sort of miraculous," he added.

"There was too much stuff to be all linked together, and we were definitely meant to find that girl that day."

The pair say that it's the student who is the real hero.

"I honestly believe she should have the credit surviving in harsh conditions for roughly 28 hours," David said.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph