Thursday, 25 July 2013

Shoreline Accident

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.

1 comment:

  1. From Sheila Goodall:

    This is a very big THANK YOU to all the teams who rescued me from the beach on Thursday. It was an immense relief to see the First Responders arriving only minutes after the emergency call from my daughter's mobile and to experience their kindness and professionalism as they helped me to regain my breath and eased the pain from the fall.

    This was followed by equally excellent care from the ambulance crew as I was driven very carefully all the way to Fort William, where the hospital team took over and got me back on my feet, nursing some extremely painful broken ribs, but thankfully no punctured lungs or other complications.

    As it says in your blog, I was indeed mortified to have caused so much trouble. Prior to the fall, I had been with my grandson enjoying hunting for fossils and, of course, hoping for a glimpse of the otter. I had only just warned the rest of the family that the rocks were very slippery and was heading for more secure ground when I slipped. Unfortunately I fell directly onto a projecting rock and took all my weight on my ribs.

    As a First Responder myself in our village in the Yorkshire Dales, I know how vital it is to get quickly to an incident. Our training is limited to dealing with breathing difficulties and heart attacks. This is because we are not so remote and the ambulance cover has an emergency response target time of 12 to 14 minutes, so there is a much shorter gap to bridge.

    As an active but cautious person, I never expected to become the recipient of your valuable service, but now know first hand what relief it brings to receive such prompt treatment whilst waiting for an ambulance to arrive in a remote area such as this.

    I am now very happy to be recuperating at the Ardnamurchan Campsite, enjoying the tranquility of this lovely part of Scotland.