Robertsbridge teenager rescued from Hastings cliffs

A teenager's summer holiday came to a dramatic end when he had to be rescued by helicopter after slipping down a cliff face on Sunday (September 4.)

Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 3:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:37 pm

The 13-year-old, from Robertsbridge, and his friends had been climbing on rocks on the West Cliffs in Hastings when he lost his footing while trying to take a selfie.

He fell two feet, landing on a narrow ledge, and dislocated his finger.

But because the emergency services had difficulty reaching the stricken teenager, a two-hour long rescue mission followed.

Father George Heugh raced to the scene following a frantic call from wife Lorraine at around 3pm.

He said: “I turned up and took over from my wife and sat on the ledge with him.

“The first response people were there and sat with him, trying to stop him from going into shock.”

South East Coast Ambulance Service paramedics arrived, but after deciding they could not safely take the injured teen to the ambulance, they called Hastings Coastguard for help.

The Coastguard helicopter was scrambled and the boy was winched up from the cliffs below.

But because a large crowd had formed at the top of the cliffs, and despite Bexhill Coastguard’s efforts at crowd control, the helicopter was unable to set the patient down. Instead he was flown straight to the Conquest Hospital.

He was released shortly afterwards and is none the worse for his ordeal.

George has expressed his gratitude to all those who helped his son.

He said: “Until you are in that situation, you just don’t know what’s involved and how many people are there to help you.

“The incident itself was minimal, compared to what was required to get him out of there.”

George plans to take his son to the Coastguard to say thank you - and make a donation.

George, who is ex-Navy, added: “I respect the sea and what the RNLI do and help them. Now I’m helping the Coastguard too.”

Lorraine said: “We are very grateful to the Coastguard and ambulance teams for providing such an important service and for the sensitivity and support they showed our son at such a scary time.

“Their professionalism and reassurance helped to keep him calm during the rescue.”

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