Disabled OAP rescued after 10ft plunge

A DISABLED pensioner had to be rescued by firefighters after her electric wheelchair plunged 10ft down an embankment.

The 60-year-old woman was part of a tour group visiting Linlithgow Loch yesterday when the accident happened.

Her carer raised the alarm and comforted the woman until the emergency services, including two ambulances, three fire engines and police, raced to the scene.

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The loch is just 5ft from the verge but luckily she fell in an area where the water is further out.

Firefighters took just under an hour to rescue her using a basket stretcher and ropes to hoist her out of the reeds next to the loch.

Graham Inglis, of Lothian and Borders Fire Service, said: "We have specialist line rescue crews for this type of incident and two attended.

"She was still in her wheelchair when we arrived on the scene and we managed to pull her up to the path where she was carried to the ambulance. It was quite a walk to access where the incident happened.

"I believe she may only have suffered a shoulder injury but you can never be too careful and she was treated on the scene in case there was a spinal injury."

A fisherman who was on the loch at the time said: "I didn't see what actually happened but the bit where she fell is very steep.

"There's no railing or anything there either and able bodied people would have difficulties if they stepped the wrong way at that bit.

"She's lucky she fell at that bit too because the water is further out. It could have been much worse if it was down a bit because she would have been in the water."

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The woman was taken to St John's Hospital in Livingston for a check-up, but despite her fall, she was still conscious and only complaining of a sore shoulder when she was rescued.

A spokesman for Historic Scotland said: "One of our rangers was alerted to an incident by the loch, involving a woman in a wheelchair.

"The ranger helped the emergency services to gain access to the visitor, who was conscious and responsive and in an upright position. A line rescue team was called to the scene to help lift her back to the path before being taken to an awaiting ambulance.

"The visitor was part of an independent tour and the rest of her party were taken to the palace where they were given access to facilities and a place to wait."

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