Northern Ireland

Two climbers injured after Fair Head fall

Coastguard rescuing two climbers who fell at Fair Head on 3 June 2018 Image copyright Coastguard
Image caption The two men fell while taking part in a climbing meet-up at Fair Head in County Antrim

Two climbers have been seriously injured after falling at Fair Head, near Ballycastle, in County Antrim on Sunday.

The two men were winched from Hell's Kitchen by an Irish coastguard helicopter and flown to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

On Monday morning, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said the two men remained in a stable condition.

According to the Coastguard, both climbers fell up to 50m.

Image copyright Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
Image caption Irish Coastguard helicopter R118 hovering while rescuing two climbers at Fair Head

Coastguard teams used rope rescue techniques to stretcher the casualties off the cliff face.

It is understood they were both on the same rope when the accident happened but that the rope stopped them hitting the ground.

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Media captionThe Coastguard helicopter filmed winching the men to safety

They are believed to have suffered broken bones, friction burns and chest injuries.

Ryan Gray, from Belfast Coastguard, said the two men were among more than 100 climbers taking part in an event at Fair Head.

He said they received multiple 999 calls about the climbers after they fell.

Coastguard rescue teams from Coleraine and Ballycastle were tasked to the scene while the Irish Coastguard rescue helicopter was also sent from Sligo.

"It was a routine response for that type of terrain," Mr Gray told BBC's Good Morning Ulster.

Image copyright Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
Image caption The two men are believed to have suffered broken bones, friction burns and chest injuries

"It takes a lot people and skills just to get down to where the climbers actually were. It's a sheer cliff face that goes into quite a large boulder field. So it was tricky enough."

He said the weather conditions and lack of wind were challenging for the pilot of the rescue helicopter, who had to keep it hovering close to the cliff face, but that it was a successful operation.

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