Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim photographer dies after falling into the sea near Donegal lighthouse

By Christopher Woodhouse

A photographer from Co Antrim has died after falling from a cliff into the sea near a Donegal lighthouse.

The man, aged in his 60s, was taking photographs near Fanad Head lighthouse when he fell.

Emergency services were called at around 3pm and two lifeboats from the Lough Swilly RNLI attended the scene.

Ian Scott, the station officer at Malin Head Coastguard station, told the Belfast Telegraph:  “We received a 999 call from a member of the public to say that a person had fallen off the cliffs at Fanad Head.

“Sadly this man had fallen off and we sent out an emergency broadcast on our distress frequencies.

“We got a response from one local boat who proceeded to assist as well as doing that we tasked our coastguard helicopter from Sligo, the two Lough Swilly lifeboats and coastguard fast response team from Mulroy Coastguard.

“All those units arrived on scene at roughly the same time, the team from the coastguard managed to locate this man in the water.

“They pulled him out which was very difficult as he had fallen off the cliff and been taken into a ravine, it would have been like a washing machine in there."

He added: “The rescue team started to perform CPR on him before transferring him into the helicopter.

“Two paramedics worked at him on the way to Letterkenny Hospital but sadly he died.

“It was a very difficult rescue, the team would have been at great risk.

“The weather was a north westerly wind which would be the wrong direction if you were going to fall in off the cliffs.

Scott added a warning to anyone venturing near the scenic cliffs at Fanad Head.

“My advice to the public is not to go near cliff edges and stay a good distance away because you may feel you taking a precaution but the wind can lift you off your feet and blow quite a considerable distance.", he said.

“It's an area of outstanding beauty and it attracts a lot of visitors but sadly sometimes people will underestimate the power of the wind and the sea.”

The man's name had not yet been released.

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