Man killed in cliff fall

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A HOLIDAYMAKER died at the weekend after falling from cliffs near Eyemouth Caravan Park.

It is believed that 58-year-old Alfred Whitesmith, from Newcastle upon Tyne was out walking his dog when he slipped and fell close to Weasel Loch at around 10pm on Saturday.

Emergency services were alerted after the pet returned to the holiday park alone and paramaedics, coastguard and Eyemouth lifeboat were quickly on the scene.

The lifeboat launched at 10.30pm and and on arrival, the crew fired flares to provide illumination to the coastguard cliff rescue team, who were lowering down the cliff face.

The inflatable XP boat was then launched and two crew went ashore to assist the coastguard team rescue the man.

However, due to the inaccessibility of the location, the search and rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer was tasked and arrived a short while later. Unfortunately, the paramedics who abseiled down the cliffs declared the man dead at the scene.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

He added: “Police were called to Weasel Loch near Fort Point, Eyemouth, around 10pm on Saturday (September 3), after concerns were raised over the safety of a 58-year-old man who had gone missing in the area. The coastguard was also contacted to assist with the search, and the man’s body was discovered at the foot of the cliff.

“Paramedics who had abseiled down the cliff to administer treatment pronounced him dead at the scene, and his body was airlifted from the area by RAF Boulmer.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Hon. Provost of Eyemouth and new chair of Eyemouth Town Community Council, Jo Pawley, said the hearts of everyone in the town went out to the man’s family and she hoped that after a series of tragic events in the town during the past month, better times were on the way.

“Everyone in the town has great sympathy for the man’s family, particularly those relatives who were on holiday with him at the time.

“It’s such a tragic accident and one that was totally out of the blue.

“There are a number of danger signs up on the cliffs, particularly close to Fort Point where there’s been a number of landslips.

“I think the majority of locals know to tread very carefully and not go too close to the edge but it’s easy for people who are on holiday here to get carried away by the wonderful scenery and not think about the risks.

“You hear about people being seriously injured or losing their lives in cliff falls quite often but I think in a small community like we have in Eyemouth the tragedy is felt more.

“It’s been a sad month for everyone in Eyemouth and the surrounding area with Jamie’s death, the death of the young baby and now this tragic incident; I just hope there are plenty of happier things on the horizon.”

Last month a young woman, believed to be out searching for missing teenager Jamie Battison had to be rescued after falling down a cliff at nearby Killiedraught Bay at Eyemouth.

Eyemouth coastguards were alerted at about 8pm on Saturday, August 6, station officer Norman Richardson explaining: “We were still searching for a missing person and I got an emergency call from Forth coastguard to say there was a person over the cliffs.

“We set up a cliff incident, put a man over the cliff and rescued the female.”

The dramatic but dangerous Berwickshire coastline attracts 80,000 visitors a year and in offering their condolences to the man’s family, a spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “In light of this tragic incident, the council is urging people to take extra care when walking in coastal areas.”