Dramatic rescue as kayaker in difficulty is winched to safety from rocks

A kayaker was dramatically winched to safety in challenging white-water conditions by the HM Coastguard helicopter from Inverness on Wednesday (12 October).

Aberdeen Coastguard received a report – at approximately 6pm that evening – saying that the man was in difficulty and had suffered an injury, possibly a broken leg, near to Invermoriston, a small village in the Scottish Highlands.

The search and rescue (SAR) helicopter from Inverness was quickly sent to the scene to attend to the man, who had been kayaking in fast-flowing rapids.

Inverness Coastguard Rescue Team and the RNLI lifeboat from Loch Ness were also called to support, and to provide additional assistance.

On arrival, the helicopter managed to locate the man – who had moved to a rocky and more stable area beside the stream of water flow – with the aid of onboard cameras, before lowering the aircraft’s winchman SAR paramedic down with a stretcher to meet the kayaker. 

The man was winched into the aircraft and taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for further medical care.

The SAR Paramedic said: “The remoteness of the area coupled with the added element of fast-running water, tall trees and large rocks meant this was quite a technical job for the crew, requiring precision and great skill for the helicopter to hover above and then lower down to the man who needed our help.

“As I was winched down, it was of course really important that we made sure he was secure and as comfortable as he could possibly be in that situation before we carried out the lift using the stretcher.” 

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