Highlands & Islands

Man who clung to cliff in St Kilda meets rescuers

Robin Shaw Image copyright Bristow Helicopters/MCA
Image caption Robin Shaw was stuck with a 60m sheer drop below him

A 87-year-old man who clung to a cliff for 30 hours on the remote archipelago of St Kilda has been reunited with some of his rescuers.

Robin Shaw slipped and fell while on a visit to the islands about 40 miles (64km) west of North Uist on 26 June last year.

He had a 60m (200ft) sheer drop below where he had fallen onto the cliff.

Mr Shaw has met with members of the Stornoway Coastguard helicopter crew involved in his rescue.

The crew worked with coastguard rescue teams to save him.

It was 30 hours before Mr Shaw was found and the alarm was raised.

Winching Mr Shaw directly from the cliff to the helicopter was not an option because the downdraft could have proved fatal for him.

Image copyright Bristow Helicopters/MCA
Image caption Stornoway and Shetland coastguard personnel and volunteers have been recognised for their bravery

Coastguard rope technicians were able to help him to the top of the cliff from where he was flown to safety.

Mr Shaw met some of those who went to his aid at an awards ceremony.

The Bristow Helicopters-operated Stornoway helicopter crew were presented with the coastguard's Rescue Shield Award for extreme bravery.

The crew shares the honour with Sumburgh Coastguard helicopter crew, Shetland Operations Centre staff and Hillswick and Lerwick coastguard rescue teams for the rescue of a man who became stuck on a sea cliff in Fethaland, Shetland, in May last year.

The man was in stuck the dark in deteriorating weather conditions.

A specialist rope technician descended 24m (80ft) while being battered by strong winds and incoming waves to rescue him.