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Newly-opened Gobbins cliff walk forced to close for afternoon after 79-year-old visitor takes ill

By Staff Reporter

Published 05/09/2015

The Gobbins cliff path
The Gobbins cliff path

Northern Ireland's newest tourist attraction had to close temporarily after a pensioner collapsed.

The man (79) had to be rescued after he fainted at the Gobbins cliff walk on Thursday afternoon.

The emergency services and coastguard were called to help reach the man and the path later reopened.

Three fire appliances - from Larne, Whitehead and Carrickfergus fire stations - were deployed to the scene.

The Gobbins, in Islandmagee, Co Antrim, re-opened to the public last month for the first time since the 1950s following a £7.5m revamp.

The incident occurred around half way along the path at the Man O' War, near the distinctive tubular bridge.

A spokesman for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: "The NIFRS, HM Coastguard and NI Ambulance Service worked together with council staff to an established protocol.

"The man recovered sufficiently to allow him to be walked out from the path to the access road. HM Coastguard then brought the man to the main road using an all-terrain vehicle where the ambulance was waiting.

"He was examined and assessed as fit by the ambulance personnel and was taken by minibus back to the Gobbins Visitor Centre. He has not been classed as a casualty."

The man, from Holywood in Co Down, was part of a walking group that had booked the attraction as a party.

To facilitate access by the emergency services the attraction was closed for the rest of the afternoon, with refunds or rebooking offered.

The Gobbins has proved extremely popular since it reopened, with visitors flocking to make the trek round the rugged coastline, and earlier this week staff welcomed the 1,000th visitor to the path.

Belfast Telegraph

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