A man has been seriously injured after falling 50ft down a cliff.
Rescuers battled through thick fog and poor visibility to reach the man, who fell near the Bullers of Buchan last night.
Peterhead’s RNLI crew launched at about 9.45pm and had to rely on radio communication and torchlight to find their casualty.
After locating him, coxswain Pat Davidson managed to guide the lifeboat close to the cliff before two crew members clambered to the man, armed with a stretcher and medical supplies.
They were quickly joined by paramedics, and the man was transferred to a basket stretcher and extracted.
Weather made rescue even more challenging
Peterhead lifeboat crew member Craig Aird said it had been a challenging operation, involving several agencies working closely together.
“We launched to assist a stricken climber who had fallen close to the Bullers of Buchan. Although we had coordinates for the scene, the fog made spotting the exact location difficult.
“I was part of the Y-boat crew, deployed with the basket stretcher and other supplies. Arriving on-scene, the paramedics had begun treating the casualty.”
Crew members had to pilot the boat into a small gully while thunder and lightning storms raged in the area.
Speed and safety were of equal priority as the team had to ensure the casualty had not suffered a spinal injury.
Mr Aird added: “I used my time working with the coastguard team to identify a suitable spot for transferring the casualty across to the lifeboat.
“Given the location, it was decided that the safest route for extraction was direct to the lifeboat rather than passing down the cliff to the Y boat.”
‘We knew how serious this was’
Duty coxswain Patrick Davidson said: “When the initial call came in, we knew how serious this was and attempted to make the best speed, but due to significantly reduced visibility, I had to think about the safety of my crew as well as the casualty.
“As a result of the local visibility and thunder and lightning storms in the area, an air evacuation was not possible.
“With potential spinal injuries, the quickest and safest extraction was assessed to be by sea.”
“On scene, sea conditions were favourable, but due to a small swell using our small daughter craft ( Y boat) was assessed to be too risky.
“So I decided to attempt and get the lifeboat into a small gully so casualty and paramedics could be transferred from the cliff base directly onto the lifeboat, which we executed along with local coastguard teams and assisted by my crew members illuminating the rocks around the lifeboat.”
The team then took the man to Peterhead Harbour, where the Scottish Ambulance Service and local coastguards were waiting to take him to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Mr Davidson praised the efforts of all involved, adding: “It was a fantastic multiagency response and great to see how we all worked together seamlessly. Most importantly, we would all like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”