A TEENAGER had to be airlifted from the top of the Wallace Monument after dislocating his knee.
The 17-year-old was said to be just four steps from the highest level of the historic building when he was injured yesterday afternoon.
Ambulance staff were unable to transport the injured teenager down a winding, narrow staircase by stretcher and called on the RAF to help with the dramatic rescue mission.
A video, shot by an onlooker and shared on social media sites, shows a rescue Sea King helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth winching the young patient to safety from the crown of the Stirling monument.
The RAF helicopter was scrambled to the scene just after 1pm yesterday afternoon and the teenager was taken to an ambulance waiting on the ground just after 3pm.
A spokesman from the Wallace Monument said the patient had been safely removed from the building and that the attraction would re-open as normal this morning.
The monument was closed to visitors while the rescue took place.
Completed in 1869 at a cost of £18,000, the sandstone Wallace monument stands 67 metres tall and is built in Victorian Gothic style.
The monument commemorates Sir William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish landowner who became a hero as one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence.
Access to the “crown” at the top of the building is via a spiral staircase, with a total of 246 steps.
As the drama unfolded yesterday afternoon, one onlooker wrote on Twitter: “Breaking drama at #Braveheart #WallaceMonument as Rescue Helicopter winches in doctor just now.”
Another added: “Sunday afternoon peace disturbed for justified reasons airlifting an injured person next to the Wallace Monument.”
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said RAF Lossiemouth had been asked to assist the rescue due to safety concerns.
He said: “There was a patient with a dislocated knee.
“They were taken off by helicopter as it was safer than taking them down the stairs.”
A spokesman from the National Wallace Monument said last night: “Shortly after mid-day today a visitor to the monument sustained a knee injury.
“In view of the nature of the injury, the medical services who were in attendance decided to co-ordinate with rescue services and evacuate the visitor from the crown of the monument by helicopter.
“The visitor was safely removed from the monument, and transferred to an ambulance.
“The monument will re-open to visitors as normal tomorrow morning at 10am.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS