Belfast Telegraph

Woman who broke back in North Down cliff fall thanks 'fantastic' rescuers

By Jenna Gardiner

A woman has told of the moment she fell from a cliff edge and fractured her spine on the North Down Coastal Path.

Adrianne Peltz, who is originally from South Africa, is a keen cyclist and was walking with her bike at a narrow point on the path when she fell while travelling from Bangor to Holywood.

The 33-year-old previously served as president of the National Union of Students-Union of Students in Ireland and currently works for Victim Support NI.

"I was sucked down, I hit my head on a rock, bounced off that and landed spine-first on a boulder on the beach. That was what did the damage, it fractured my spine," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

Now on bed rest at her home in Bangor, Adrianne is keen to find the kind strangers who rushed to her aid on Saturday.

"They immediately scrambled down to help. I don't know who they are, but they were wonderful," she said.

Doctors at the Royal Victoria Hospital later told her that she was incredibly lucky. They said if it hadn't been for the woman who held her down and kept her spine in a neutral position, the damage could have been so much worse.

She is now calling for more maintenance on certain parts of the path.

She said: "I've always said that the coastal path, while it is incredibly scenic and beautiful, has parts that are so narrow and rocky with sheer drops down that it wouldn't take much to knock you off."

Ards and North Down Borough Council is aware of the incident and is investigating.

Adrianne was rescued by Bangor and Portaferry Coastguard teams and Bangor RNLI.

Ambulance staff were not able to reach her because of the difficult terrain.

The RNLI had to take her by boat to nearby Royal North of Ireland Yacht club.

She said she "can't even articulate how grateful and thankful" she is to the rescue teams.

"To consider that they give up their weekend to help out when there's a crisis is just incredible," she added.

"They are all unpaid and just do it for the love of helping people, they're fantastic. I felt so safe."

After being conveyed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by ambulance she was further touched by the kindness of strangers.

"These people save lives every single day," she added.

"And they do it with love, compassion, kindness and even humour."

Belfast Telegraph

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