Iona cliff fall survivor reunited with rescuers
A man who fell off a cliff on Iona and was forced to crawl away from the rising tide with broken bones has been reunited with the ambulance crew who helped save him.
Four years after Ged Dunsmore thought he was going to die, the 52-yearold from Helensburgh has been speaking for the first time about his frightening experience.
It was only pure luck that after being stranded in agony for five hours in the remotest part of the tiny island, he was finally spotted by an American dogwalker who raised the alarm.
‘I fell 30ft and was in agony. On top of that I could see the sea was coming in so had no option but to crawl to safety. I thought I was going to die. The American guy, who I’ve never seen emergency Dunsmore.
Now Mr Dunsmore has met up with the Ambulance Service’s air crew, Julie Cathcart and Daniel Kerr, involved in his rescue and hopes at last to track down his American good Samaritan. since, call,’ made said an Mr
Mr Dunsmore, who is visually impaired, had been taking a photograph at the time he fell, landing on his left side breaking his pelvis, three ribs and collarbone. He also had a punctured lung.
‘I could not stand up and I was concerned about the water coming. There was no one else near. It was a corridor beach, with cliffs on either side. For whatever reason, I tried to make my way to the safe side of the beach. I did this on my knees – it was very painful. By the time I got to the other side, I was exhausted.
‘I got to a point when I thought, I’m done. I cannot do any more. I had my peace with the world. I did not think I would make it. I was on the beach on my own and I accepted it,’ he said.
Sometime later he suddenly saw a pair of legs at his side. It was the American who made the emergency call. Mr Dunsmore spent two weeks in hospital; for the first seven days he was in intensive care.
He said his main incentive to get better was the thought of missing a Billy Connolly gig.
After his recent meeting with his rescuers, Mr Dunsmore said: ‘There’s not a day goes by where I don’t think, if not for their intervention, I would not be here today. They saved my life that day.’
Mr Kerr, a Scottish Ambulance team leader, said Mr Dunsmore’s rescue was a complex incident from a clinical and aviation point of view.
He said: ‘It was brilliant meeting up with Ged. What was miraculous about it was the fact someone else was walking their dog where no one else ever goes,’ he said.
Ged Dunsmore with the Ambulance Service’s air crew Julie Cathcart and Daniel Kerr and, top right, Ged on Iona after recovering from his 2014 ordeal.