Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway: Disabled man rescued after cliff path fall

Coastguard rope rescue equipment was deployed from the top of the 150ft cliff above the path Image copyright Coleraine Coastguard
Image caption Coastguard rope rescue equipment was deployed from the top of the 150ft cliff above the path

A disabled man has been rescued after falling down an embankment in his wheelchair at the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim.

The coastguard said a full agency rescue was carried out during Friday night's incident.

It was reported at about 18:00 BST that the man had fallen from a cliff path. The rescue took several hours.

The coastguard said the man was treated by ambulance staff at the scene and was not injured.

It said 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.

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Media captionWheelchair user falls down embankment at Giant's Causeway

The wheelchair came to rest after a short distance in thick brambles.

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

The coastguard said a "delicate rescue operation" took place to recover the man "from his precarious perch".

It said the operation was "made more challenging by the 140kg weight of the wheelchair, in which the man was still entangled".

Rope rescue

It added that the "lack of any suitable holdfasts" meant coastguard rope rescue equipment needed to be deployed from the top of the 150ft cliff above the path.

A coastguard rope rescue technician was lowered from the cliff top, to prepare the man for recovery.

A coastguard winch was used at the cliff top, and with the assistance of coastguard and fire service personnel on the path, the man was "gently recovered, uninjured, to the safety of the pathway".

Image copyright Coleraine Coastguard
Image caption A coastguard rope technician was lowered from the cliff top

The man's wheelchair was 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.