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Rescue helicopter dispatched from Scotland after tourist falls near Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

By Christopher Woodhouse

Published 11/08/2015

A stricken walker has been airlifted from the Carrick-a-Rede tourist attraction after falling on the island between Ballycastle and Ballintoy
A stricken walker has been airlifted from the Carrick-a-Rede tourist attraction after falling on the island between Ballycastle and Ballintoy
A stricken walker has been airlifted from the Carrick-a-Rede tourist attraction after falling on the island between Ballycastle and Ballintoy
A stricken walker has been airlifted from the Carrick-a-Rede tourist attraction after falling on the island between Ballycastle and Ballintoy

A man has been airlifted from the island at the end of the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge after he was injured in a fall.

The American tourist, aged in his 60s, is believed to have suffered facial injuries after falling at the popular tourist attraction, near Ballintoy, Co Antrim, yesterday afternoon. A Royal Navy search and rescue helicopter was dispatched from Prestwick in Scotland at around 12.15pm to take the injured man to hospital.

The helicopter was scrambled from the HMS Gannet base and flew the man to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

A spokeswoman said crews from Coleraine and Ballycastle Coastguard were also involved in the rescue operation.

She said: "At this stage we do not know the circumstances of the fall.

"He fell on the island. He had walked across the rope bridge.

"It is safer and easier to take someone who is injured off the island by helicopter rather than going back across the rope bridge - no matter what the extent of their injuries."

The world-renowned tourist site attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year who come to cross the famous rope bridge suspended 100ft above the sea.

Sue-Ellen Shaw, an Australian tourist visiting the area, said the rescue teams had done a good job.

"It was amazing to see the excellent work of the local Coastguard. Well managed and efficiently handled," she said.

It is the second rescue at the tourist attraction in two weeks. At the end of July, four fishermen were rescued by lifeboat after their boat got into difficulty near the rope bridge.

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