Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Sunday, 26 July 2009 10:44 UK

Rescued cliff injury man stable

Rescue workers prepare the man for the journey to hospital
Rescue workers prepare the man for the journey to hospital

The condition of a man badly injured in a climbing accident at a County Antrim cliff face is now described as stable.

The man was about to climb the cliff at Fairhead on the north Antrim coast when several boulders dislodged and fell on him, pinning him to the ground.

A member of the public heard his cries for help at about 1430 BST on Saturday and contacted the coastguard.

The Irish coastguard helicopter, a doctor and a fire service team were called in to help with the rescue.

It took more than five hours to free the man who was then put on a stretcher and winched to the top of the cliff where a waiting helicopter flew him to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

Coastguard watch officer Dawn Petrie said the accident happened in a dangerous spot.

Two lifeboat crew members had to climb to the injured man - pic red bay RNLI
Two lifeboat crew members had to climb to the injured man

"The area that he was climbing in is notorious for boulders, and for loose boulders at that," she said.

"It was just unfortunate that when he started climbing, the area he picked, the boulders fell on to him."

Two members of the Red Bay lifeboat crew climbed up the rocks to administer oxygen to the trapped man.

Paddy McLaughlin, Helm of Red Bay RNLI lifeboat said it had been "a very difficult rescue".

"The location of the incident meant that everyone had to work together as radio communication was poor and the terrain was very dangerous," he said.

"We were all conscious of the urgency of the situation and our focus was to get the casualty and the rescue personnel out of there safely and quickly. Conditions early on were calm but as the night progressed they worsened significantly."

The man was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.



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