A proud father has described how his two young sons played their part in preventing a tragedy.
Paramedic Danny Kerr and his family were on holiday on Skye when they found themselves caught up in not only a dramatic rescue but in helping to ensure accident victim Angus MacDonald from Portree stayed safe until help arrived.
Danny together with his wife Allison and boys Euan, 14 and 10 years old Harris had descended into Bearreraig Bay to go fossil hunting but ended up instead saving a life.
Unknown to them 19 hours earlier Angus had fallen heavily around a dozen feet on to sharp rocks and been knocked unconscious. Badly injured he lay out overnight and although he had attempted to crawl his way to safety he had made little headway.
Danny from East Kilbride said; “We come to Skye every year I love the place and had gone down to the bay to collect fossils however, the river was quite high so we decided to just mess around on the rocks.”
However, as Danny and the boys moved across the bay they heard noises.
He added: “We honestly thought it was seals at first and couldn’t believe it when we discovered Angus. He was able to talk us and give me his name and we discovered he lives with his daughter in Crauachan Place, Portree but he was obviously suffering from having been injured and outside for so long.”
As the training kicked in Danny examined the injured man. He said: “I was fairly certain he had significant chest injuries, certainly fractured ribs and possibly a punctured lung as well as a break to his left arm.”
Danny and the boys then faced a real dilemma about how to raise the alarm.
“We didn’t have a mobile signal”, said Danny, “so I had to give Euan a very complex set of instructions about who to call, where we were and the injuries that had been sustained.”
Without further ado Euan ran halfway up the steep Storr Lochs path before he could use the phone and call for help. Then plunged back down to the shore to let his Dad know.
Danny added: “I knew we had blankets in the car so I asked Euan if he could go back up again and he was off.”
By now though worried about the victim’s hypothermic state Danny decided to act after Angus mentioned he had brought a sleeping bag with him.
Danny said: “I decided he really needed it so asked Harris to stay with the casualty. He’s only 10 years old but he was so calm and just sat there chatting away. I was gone about 10 minutes but he talked to Angus and kept him company until I got back.”
Finally rescuers began to arrive, the first, ambulance and coastguard personnel , guided directly to the scene by Euan who had once again started to climb the steep hill back to Storr Lochs. Eventually, supported by RNLI crew members from Portree the injured man was airlifted to safety.
Danny added: “I am really proud of my lads. They are only youngsters but when it really mattered they were calm, collected and did just what they had to look after someone who needed help.
“I know they are my boys but kids nowadays are often criticised for so many things so I think when they do something like this the part that they played should be recognised.”
Earlier this week police in Portree confirmed that Mr MacDonald’s condition was “improving” at Raigmore Hospital where he has been treated for his injuries.
Danny said: “I know we will be coming back to Skye again so it would be great to meet up with Angus once he has made a successful recovery.”