NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Teenager rescued after falling down Orkney cliff

Coastguard rescue helicopter / Sikorsky S92
Image caption The helicopter was directed to the location by one of the group on a mobile phone

A 15-year-old has been rescued after falling down a cliff on the Orkney Isles.

Thick fog hampered the rescue effort however the German boy's uncle was able to direct the helicopter to the teenager by waving a lamp.

Using a mobile phone he also described how close the helicopter sounded and the boy was flown to hospital.

The accident happened at cliffs at the Bay of Tongue, near Hoy, at about 1800 BST on Tuesday.

Shetland Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue.

The teenager, who was semi-conscious, was with his uncle and sister and had suffered a leg injury.

His position, 200 metres uphill from the beach, was described as "inaccessible".

His relatives had given him first aid, splinted his leg, wrapped him in a blanket and he was sheltering in a hollow.

The Hoy and Stromness coastguard rescue teams were called out along with the Stromness RNLI lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter.

Martin Sykes, duty watch manager at Shetland Coastguard, described the incident as a "difficult and challenging rescue".

He said the Stromness team were flown to the approximate location by helicopter, and we were able to ask the teenager's uncle by mobile phone to wave a lamp in the fog to try and attract the attention of both the lifeboat and the helicopter.

"Using his mobile phone he was able to describe the sound of the helicopter as being louder or softer, as the group was unsure of their own exact position," Mr Sykes said.

The teams on the ground also used whistles to help pinpoint the group's location and the lifeboat crew set off a flare to see how close they were and for the man to get his bearings.

'Very challenging'

A second group of coastguards were also dropped at the top of a gully in order to sweep the area.

By 2015 BST the boy and his family were located and the boy flown to hospital in Kirkwall.

Mr Sykes said the helicopter then returned to pick up the rescuers as the weather "remained very challenging".

In a separate incident, a man fell 40ft into a quarry in Harthill, North Lanarkshire, at about 1715 BST on Tuesday.

A Royal Navy rescue helicopter was scrambled from Prestwick, along with coastguard cliff teams and the Ardrossan, South Queensferry and Kinghorn teams.

The man was found by 1755 BST and flown the Southern General Hospital.

No details on his condition are available.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites