Boy, 12, rescued from Gristhorpe cliffs

Scarborough's inshore lifeboat races across the wake of the main lifeboat, during a launch for the local RNLI Flag Day today.  29/07/11

Scarborough's inshore lifeboat races across the wake of the main lifeboat, during a launch for the local RNLI Flag Day today. 29/07/11

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A boy had to be airlifted to hospital at the weekend when he fell down cliffs at Gristhorpe and badly broke an ankle.

Scarborough RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was called on Saturday at 2.30pm to find the 12-year-old halfway up the cliffs.

He had been trying to descend the cliff onto the beach when he lost his footing, about 40 to 50 feet above the beach.

Paul Huggins, who helmed the lifeboat, said: “He slipped about 12 to 15 feet down a steep bit of the cliff and took the force of the drop on his foot and shattered his left ankle.

“We anchored the boat and climbed up to him and administered first aid but we realised we couldn’t get him off the cliff so we called for a Sea King from RAF Leconfield,” Mr Huggins said. “His mum was there.”

The casualty was stabilised with a bandage to the left arm and had his legs strapped together on a stretcher.

The helicopter couldn’t land so hovered overhead while a winchman who doubled as a paramedic dropped down to winch the boy up.

The boy, a visitor from Wakefield who was staying with his family in a nearby caravan park, was then transferred to hospital.

Mr Huggins warned parents to be vigilant whenever children are playing near a cliff.

He said: “The cliffs are so unstable at the moment; they’re atrocious.”

The other two members of the lifeboat team were Matt Atkinson and Keith Eade.