Man in wheelchair falls from Giant’s Causeway cliff path

The scene of the cliff path fall and rescue operation on the North Coast. Credit: Coleraine Coastguard

A major rescue operation has had to be launched after a man in a wheelchair fell from a cliff path at the Giant’s Causeway on the North Coast.

The incident on Friday evening led to a full-scale response by Coastguard rescue teams from Coleraine and Ballycastle, along with police, firefighters and paramedics.

The man who had a very lucky escape had been exploring the area in his motorised wheelchair when it lost traction on a narrow path and slid down a steep embankment.

It came to rest in thick brambles, but rescuers had to work quickly to prevent the wheelchair slipping further and crashing onto rocks below.

Rescuers had a difficult job securing the wheelchair before winching the man to safety Credit: Coleraine Coastguard

A spokesperson for Coleraine Coastguard explained: “The operation was made more challenging by the 140kg weight of the wheelchair, in which the man was still entangled.

“Moreover, the lack of any suitable holdfasts meant that Coastguard rope rescue equipment would need to be deployed from the top of the 150ft cliff above the path.”

Brambles prevented the wheelchair from slipping further and hitting rocks below. Credit: Coleraine Coastguard

Against the odds, the man was eventually recovered uninjured, while his wheelchair was also retrieved and found to be in working order.

“Miraculously, the casualty was able to steer himself, accompanied by Coastguard personnel, to a waiting ambulance where he was given a final check over by paramedics,” Coleraine Coastguard added.