Lifeboat launches to assist man after cliff fall

Lifeboats News Release

Macduff Lifeboat was tasked to assist with the rescue of a male who had fallen 10 meters down a cliff near Portsoy

picture from the back of the lifeboat looking forwards, two crew members look towards cliff face where a thirds RNLI crew member is with police, ambulance and the casualty

RNLI/Rob Smith

Fallen Climber Redhythe Point
Macduff Lifeboat was requested to assist colleagues from Scottish Ambulance Service, Police Scotland and HM Coastguard on Monday evening after a man fell around 10 meters down a cliff.

The man had been rock climbing with his son near to Redhythe Point, Portsoy when the incident occurred.

Macduff Lifeboat launched at 6.30 pm and headed to the scene, on arrival, they located the casualty who was situated in a narrow inlet at the waterline.

Crew member Nicol Wood was put ashore to help assess the casualty and prepare him for evacuation. Talking on return to the station Nicol said: 'when we arrived on scene, we found that there was nowhere safe for us to put the boat ashore, so I swam to the casualty to help assess him.

'The man was wearing climbing equipment but had ended up in the water at the bottom of the cliff with a rising tide, we quickly assessed him and got him ready for evacuation to hospital. I remained with the casualty until the Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 951 arrived and airlifted him.'

Coxswain Chassey Findlay who was at the helm of Lydia Macdonald during the rescue said: 'the location of the casualty, in a small narrow inlet, made the rescue more complicated, we were not able to get the boat right in to the casualty, but we were able to get close enough for Nicol to swim to him.

'We stood by at the mouth of the inlet while the medical assessment was carried out and ready to return should any first aid or rescue equipment or evacuation be required.

'After discussion with the Coastguard team it was decided that the most effective way to recover the casualty was by winching to Rescue 951 so we moved to a safe location while they completed the rescue, we returned to the inlet and picked Nicol up before returning to Macduff.'

Speaking after the boat was refuelled and returned to service at 8:30 pm Lifeboat Operations Manager, Roy Morrison said: 'tonight's operation showed great partnership working between the police, the ambulance, Coastguard teams and the lifeboat and had a successful outcome.

'I hope that the casualty isn't too badly injured and makes a speedy recovery.

Roy continued: 'It is incidents like this that remind us that while the Moray coast is a great place to visit for on water & coastal activities and is very safe, slips trips and falls along the coast can happen at any time. People using the coast for leisure should always carry a means of calling for help, a VHF radio if you are on the water or a mobile phone if you are on land.

'If you do suffer a slip trip or fall along the coast and require medical assistance, you should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, and they will be able to assist you and mobilise people to help you.'

The RNLI has lots of safety information for all types of coastal and on water activities, which can be found by visiting

Notes to editors
• RNLI Macduff lifeboat B-804 Lydia Macdonald is a B class Atlantic 85 which carries 4 crew
Lydia Macdonald is unique within the RNLI being the only lifeboat that is launched from a mobile crane. This method of launch allows the lifeboat to be launched from other locations should the need arise

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact

Mike Rawlins RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Macduff Lifeboat Station 07720 288366 or [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or [email protected]

RNLI crew member at the foot of the cliffs with the casualty and member of Scottish Ambulance service

RNLI/Rob Smith

RNLI crew member Nicol Wood with the casualty and member of Scottish Ambulance service
Coastguard helicopter Rescue 951 winching the casualty to safety with RNLI crew member in the foreground

RNLI/Rob Smith

Coastguard helicopter Rescue 951 winching the casualty to safety

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