Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Two teenage boys seriously hurt in camping cliff fall

Rescue Image copyright Dunbar Coastguard Rescue Team

A 16-year-old boy has suffered serious head injuries after falling from cliffs while camping in East Lothian.

His friend, 17, was also badly hurt after falling while trying to help him near North Berwick in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A major rescue operation was launched and it took two hours to retrieve one of the boys from rocks.

Police have issued a warning, saying walking near cliff edges in the dark is hugely dangerous.

Officers were called to the Tantallon Terrace/Haugh Road area of the seaside town at 00.30 over reports two boys had fallen 25ft (7.62m).

The 16-year-old was found unconscious with serious head injuries.

A 17-year-old boy suffered serious injuries to his arm and shoulder when he fell while trying to get to his friend.

Police, paramedics, fire crews, the coastguard, and the North Berwick RNLI assisted in the rescue operation.

Serious head injuries

The 16-year-old victim was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by helicopter, as it was too unsafe to carry him to an ambulance over the rough terrain.

Police say it took two hours to get him to hospital.

Image copyright Dunbar Coastguard Rescue Team

Ch Insp Steven Duncan, area commander for East Lothian, said: "It's completely understandable that, with the warm weather here and the summer holidays upon us, our young people will want to enjoy their freedom.

"However, I cannot emphasise strongly enough the need to do this safely. Walking near cliff edges in the dark is hugely dangerous. If you are injured, it requires a significant emergency service response to locate you and it takes longer to get you to hospital for treatment.

"This was a very distressing incident for the five other male and female youths that the two boys were camping with, who saw their friends fall from a cliff edge, and for their parents who were told in the night that their sons had been seriously hurt.

"The message to our young people, in particular, is simple - if you are near a cliff edge or water then you must be cautious at all times. Your safety should always be your number one priority."