Belfast Telegraph

Mum pays tribute to rescue teams after son's cliff fall

By Donna Deeney

The mother of a 12-year-old boy, rescued after he fell from a cliff edge in Castlerock, has paid tribute to the emergency services for their fast response and care.

Ruth Price watched in horror as her son Daniel missed his footing some 15 feet above the beach at Castlerock and disappeared over the edge.

A happy family day at the beach changed in an instant when Daniel mistook a soft clump of grass for solid ground and tumbled down the rocks.

While Daniel's father Glen went after him, Mrs Price remained at the top of the cliff with their two younger children and called 999.

Daniel escaped with just minor injuries but his mother is urging others to be cautious when walking along the coastline. Mrs Price told the Belfast Telegraph: "I really want to pay tribute to the emergency services for everything they did for us last weekend.

"From the second I rang 999, the operator comforted me and kept me calm because I really was in a state of panic but they reassured me that, even while I was on the phone, help was already on the way. It was true, the first responders were with us nine minutes after I rang and more arrived within 15 minutes.

"We had just been out for a family walk on the beach at Castlerock and were on our way back towards the caravan park but a ball we had with us went over the rocks and Daniel went to the edge to see where it had landed so he could get it back.

"Unfortunately he was very close to the edge and stood on what he thought was solid ground but it was a clump of soft grass and he went tumbling over the rocks.

"He bounced a few times on the way down which was horrifying to see but thankfully he seemed to land on his feet.'

"He fell around 15 feet and seemed to black out for a while but we aren't sure if he was unconscious or just stunned.

"My husband Glen reached him very quickly and by that time Daniel was conscious and able to respond to him."

She continued: "Glen wasn't sure whether or not to move Daniel, so he called up to me to ring 999.

"The operator took control of the situation and was so reassuring to me, kept me calm and made sure I knew they were on the way.

"I made my way down to where Daniel and my husband were and was able to describe his injuries, which turned out to be remarkably few.

"Miraculously he had no breaks at all - just cuts, bruises and a lot of aches, but he was able to walk out of hospital later that day and is back at school."

Mindful of a favourable weather forecast for this weekend, Mrs Price is asking others to be cautious when enjoying the outdoors.

She added: "We have walked along that route so many times before, we love being outdoors but seeing how quickly things can change, I would urge people to take that all-important step back from the edge because the ground may not be as solid as it looks."

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