One of the great joys of living in a beautiful place like this is our freedom to walk across miles of moorland and along stunning coastline whenever we feel like it - and that includes in weather that isn't always perfect. This pleasure is balanced by a healthy awareness that, should we fall, retrieving us wouldn't always be easy, so we walk with a map, first aid kit and mobile phone. We've been fortunate: in seventeen years of walking West Ardnamurchan we've only suffered two injuries that have required professional attention, and both times the 'wounded' walked back to obtain treatment.
Today a visitor wasn't as lucky. It had rained during the day so the rocks along the Ormsaigbeg shoreline were slippery, but this wouldn't be cause to deter a walker. Her injuries were such that she had to call for help, and our local Emergency Responders were with her in minutes, followed by Kilchoan Coastguard and the Strontian ambulance. While the ambulances had to park on the road, the Coastguard pickup was able to get to within a few metres of her.
She fell on some rocks we've crossed a hundred times, and we are aware that they're nasty, but this is not a dangerous section of beach. She had gone there because a report was circulating in the campsite that an otter was swimming in the bay.
This picture shows the casualty being transferred to a stretcher before being carried to the ambulance.
I'm sure the visitor feels dreadful about having caused so much trouble - there are seven members of the emergency services in this picture - but she should be assured that not one of them would begrudge her the pleasure of walking along Ardnamurchan's stunning coastlines. On the contrary, they would argue that they do their jobs with pride, so that people can enjoy themselves knowing that, if an accident does happen, they will be retrieved as quickly and efficiently as possible.