Hiker clung to steep cliff edge with just his finger tips for two hours

RNLI teams using ropes to rescue a hiker hanging onto a cliff edge. A hiker held onto the Seaton cliffs, in Arbroath, Scotland, after he slipped and fell and needed rescuing from RNLI teams.
Rescuers were in a ‘race against time’ to save the hiker from falling (Picture: Maritime & Coastguard Agency)

A man dangled a ‘fingers grip away from death’ for two hours on the bitterly cold Scottish coast.

He was walking with friends along the Seaton cliffs in Arbroath on Sunday when he slipped and fell.

Managing to get ahold of the cliff face, he clung for dear life 10 metres from the top.

By the time the coastguard eventually arrived, he was ‘struggling to keep his grip on the cliff’.

A rescue helicopter was also sent from Inverness, but the team decided it was better to use ropes.

They were worried the helicopter’s downdraft would make it difficult for the hiker to hold on in his precarious position.

Night-vision footage shows the man clinging on at dizzying heights, before rescuers get him to safety ‘in a race against time’.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

RNLI teams using ropes to rescue a hiker hanging onto a cliff edge. A hiker held onto the Seaton cliffs, in Arbroath, Scotland, after he slipped and fell and needed rescuing from RNLI teams.
Rescuers used ropes because they were worried a helicopter would be too dangerous (Picture: Maritime & Coastguard Agency)
Seaton cliffs in Scotland. A hiker held onto the Seaton cliffs, in Arbroath, Scotland, after he slipped and fell and needed rescuing from RNLI teams.
Walkers are warned the Seaton cliffs are ‘particularly loose’ and dangerous (Picture: Getty)

Thankfully, the mission was successful and the man was not seriously injured.

Coastguard officer David Kerr said: ‘It was a close call – he was struggling to hold on, and it was a long way to fall.

‘The teams knew they had to get to him and quickly. It was a tough rope rescue in darkness on a steep and crumbling cliff.

‘It goes to show how quickly a nice winter walk can turn sour, one decision and suddenly the man found himself gripping on for life. It really can happen that easily and to anyone.’

The accident happened despite this group of walkers being ‘well-prepared with the right gear and fully charged mobile phones’.

‘They did the right thing calling for help,’ Mr Kerr said.

He added: ‘The cliffs in that area are particularly loose and it can be very easy to end up in a difficult situation.

‘So we do ask people to stay well back, the cliffs around the UK are continually eroding and can become unsteady at any time.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Share

Discover life changing special products we picked just for you

X