Cliff fall sparks SAR debate

Emergency services were called into action on Sunday night to rescue a woman who fell from a cliff on the north Northumberland coast.

Around 8.30pm, fire, police, ambulance, Coastguard and Seahouses RNLI personnel were called out to help a critically-injured woman who had fallen over cliffs south of Seahouses, below the golf course.

The RAF Boulmer helicopter was also launched and after being stabilised by paramedics, the woman was carried over the rocks onto the sand to the helicopter, which took her to Newcastle’s RVI.

Yesterday, a police spokeswoman said that the condition of the woman, who is not believed to be local, is critical but stable. There is believed to be no third-party involvement.

And the involvement of the Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Boulmer again led to comments from Gazette readers on Facebook about the vital life-saving service that it provides, ahead of next year’s privatisation.

US-owned firm Bristow is to take on the country’s SAR with the £1.6billion contract coming into effect in April 2015 and running until 2026.

Twenty-two helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the UK, but the nearest to north Northumberland will be Humberside or Glasgow (Prestwick).