Emergency crews aid elderly man ‘in distress’ at Gobbins cliff path

The iconic tubular bridge at the Gobbins cliff path.  INLT 33-682-CON

The iconic tubular bridge at the Gobbins cliff path. INLT 33-682-CON

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Emergency services came to the aid of a man who became ill at the newly-opened Gobbins cliff path this afternoon.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) received a call at 2.19pm that a man was in distress at the popular tourist destination.

Three fire appliances – one from Larne, Whitehead and Carrickfergus fire stations – were deployed to a 79-year-old man who is believed to have fainted on the path.

The incident occurred around half way along the path at the Man O’ War, near the iconic tubular bridge.

A spokesman for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council told the Times: “The NIFRS, HM Coastguard and NI Ambulance Service worked together with council staff to an established protocol.

“The man recovered sufficiently to allow him to be walked out from the path to the access road. HM Coastguard then brought the man to the main road using an all-terrain vehicle where the ambulance was waiting.

“He was examined and assessed as fit by the ambulance personnel and was then taken by minibus back to the Gobbins Visitor Centre. He has not been classed as a casualty.”

The man, from Holywood in Co Down, was part of a walking group that had booked the attraction as a party.

To facilitate access by the emergency services, the attraction was closed for the rest of the afternoon, with refunds and/or rebooking offered to those affected.

The Gobbins cliff path, which officially opened to the public on August 19, is proving to be a big hit with visitors, topping Tourism NI’s chart of things to do in Northern Ireland.

The Islandmagee attraction gives unequalled access to stunning coastal views, where eager thrill-seekers have the chance to uncover the once-hidden wonder of the Antrim coast by taking part in an exhilarating cliff path walk along a series of steel bridges and tunnels carved through the rock face.