Belfast Telegraph

'Miraculous' escape for man in wheelchair after Giant's Causeway cliff fall

The red circle shows where the man fell from at the Giant's Causeway. Pic Coastguard.
The red circle shows where the man fell from at the Giant's Causeway. Pic Coastguard.
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

A man in a wheelchair made a "miraculous" escape after he fell from a cliff path in Co Antrim.

It happened at the Giant's Causeway at around 6pm on Friday.

A full scale rescue operation swung into operation with teams from the Coastguard, police, fire service and ambulance involved.

The man had been exploring the Causeway in his motorised wheelchair when it lost traction on a narrow path at the landmark and slid down the steep embankment, the Coastguard said.

"Luckily it came to rest after a short distance in thick brambles," said the Coastguard.

"Coastguard and NIFRS officers were quickly on scene and were able to secure the man who was still in his wheelchair, to prevent him from sliding down the embankment on to rocks below.

"A delicate rescue operation then began, to recover the man from his precarious perch: the operation was made more challenging by the 140kg weight of the wheelchair, in which the man was still entangled.

"Moreover, the lack of any suitable holdfasts meant that Coastguard rope rescue equipment would need to be deployed from the top of the 150 foot cliff above the path."

A Coastguard rope rescue technician was lowered from the cliff top, through thick brambles and vegetation, and prepared the trapped man for recovery.

Using a Coastguard winch at the cliff top, and with the assistance of fire service personnel on the path, the casualty was gently recovered, uninjured, to the safety of the pathway.

His wheelchair was then also recovered and found to be in working order.

"Miraculously, the casualty was able to steer himself, accompanied by Coastguard personnel, to a waiting ambulance where he was given a final check over by paramedics," the Coastguard added.

MIRACULOUS ESCAPE AT GIANT'S CAUSEWAY: at 1807 this evening CGOC Belfast Coastguard received a report that a disabled...

Posted by Coleraine Coastguard on Friday, July 19, 2019

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