High drama as fallen hill­walker lands only feet from huge drop

Scottish Daily Mail - - Battle For Brexit - By John Glover

THIS dra­matic im­age shows how a walker, cir­cled, came just feet from plung­ing to his death.

Gor­don Raf­ferty, 53, lost his foot­ing while de­scend­ing from a 3,350ft peak in Glen Coe.

He broke an an­kle after falling 15ft on to a ledge, but his land­ing spot saved him from plum­met­ing down an 800ft rock­face known as Slime Wall be­low the sum­mit of Buachaille Etive Mor’s Stob Dearg.

To add to his prob­lems, he then dis­cov­ered he had lost his phone in the drama. Fear­ing he could die on the moun­tain he shouted for help for three hours be­fore other walk­ers heard him.

The trio – Davy Gard­ner, Anna Kin­ter and Martin Ste­wart – raised the alarm and Mr Raf­ferty was res­cued by he­li­copter and taken to hos­pi­tal.

Re­call­ing his or­deal on Au­gust 24, the fa­ther of one, from Dunoon, Ar­gyll, said: ‘After the drop I was hold­ing on by my fin­gers. It was re­ally slimy, it took half an hour to pull my­self up.

‘I had lost my phone dur­ing my fall so I had to call for help. I thought I was go­ing to die, as I didn’t know if I would sur­vive the night with a bro­ken an­kle and when the shock came in. I made peace with my­self. Luck­ily those peo­ple came around and called the moun­tain res­cue.’

Mr Ste­wart, from Glas­gow, said: ‘He was a lucky guy, be­cause no one else would have seen him that day.’

He de­scribed Slime Wall as ‘for ex­pert climbers only’, say­ing: ‘If he had gone an­other 12 inches he’d have had a ver­ti­cal drop.’

A Coast­guard spokesman said: ‘We sent the he­li­copter be­cause of the in­ac­ces­si­bil­ity. He was trans­ferred to land am­bu­lance and taken on to hos­pi­tal.’

Or­deal: Gor­don Raf­ferty Res­cue: A Coast­guard he­li­copter lifts Mr Raf­ferty to safety

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