Music exec survives 200ft fall in Outer Hebrides onto jagged rocks

A music industry executive survived a 200ft plunge on to jagged rocks after he lost his footing on a clifftop in the Outer Hebrides.

Mr Godfrey was transferred to Western Isles Hospital by air ambulance. Picture: Staintonm/Flickr

Andy Godfrey, 60, vice-president of copyright at BMG UK, broke his back and breast bone, fractured his skull and cracked all of his ribs.

The first doctor to treat him said: “I have never seen anyone fall from that height and survive. It would have killed most people.”

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Mr Godfrey said despite the injuries, which could have left him paralysed, he was back on his feet within 24 hours.

He slipped and careered down the cliff while walking along a coastal path on the Isle of Lewis, and landed on boulders below.

Mr Godfrey, who lives in London, said: “I was walking along a path on the clifftop with my partner Julie and friends, Peter and Fiona, when I slipped. I didn’t think I was near the edge.

“However, the next thing I knew, I was falling and I tried to grab some heather to hold on to but missed it. It was like an out-of-body experience. I don’t remember hitting the rocks at the foot of the cliff.”

Two of his friends ran for help and found a climber –who just happened to be trained in first aid.

Along with one of Mr Godfrey’s friends, he slowly edged down another part of the cliff face, at Breanais on the island’s west coast. Meanwhile, an emergency call was made to the coastguard service and a rescue helicopter was sent.

Mr Godfrey remembered coming to near the bottom of the cliff, with his friend Peter and the climber standing over him. He tried to move but could not. If he had, a cracked rib may have ruptured his heart.

Helicopter winchman James Lyne, 47, was on duty that day at Stornoway.

“As we approached the cliffs we could see Andy at the bottom,” he said.

“My first thought was that he would have to have been incredibly lucky to survive a fall like that. I went down on the winch cable and Andy looked so relieved to see us.”

He was transferred to Western Isles Hospital, where Dr Tom Mallison, 33, was on duty.

He said: “I have never seen anyone fall from that height and survive. It would have killed most people.”

After being treated he was flown on to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.

Five weeks after his fall, he has now returned to his job as vice-president of copyright at music firm BMG UK.