A woman was airlifted from a north-east beauty spot after falling and becoming injured during a fundraising coastal walk.
The 56-year-old was taking part in the Six Harbour Walk, between Portsoy and Buckie, when she fell in woods at Crannoch Hill amid torrential rain yesterday.
Coastguard teams from Buckie and Portsoy were sent to the scene and the new search and rescue helicopter was scrambled from Inverness to pluck the shaken and shivering casualty to safety.
She was ultimately flown to a field near the Cullen Bay Holiday Park and then on to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin by road ambulance.
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A spokeswoman for the Coastguard service explained that ambulance paramedics had been unable to come to the assistance of the woman in their vehicle due to the terrain.
She said: “The ambulance service called us to assist with extracting the woman from the hill, due to the nature of the location.
“Our helicopter was called from Inverness at 11.15am and arrived there at 11.45am.
“The weather was pretty atrocious and the woman had been lying for a while before paramedics were able to get to her.
“She was very cold, but her injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.”
Organisers, Buckie Rotary Club, stressed that the route was risk-assessed beforehand and said the incident was an unfortunate accident.
Group secretary, Heather Pirie, said: “The main problem was where the woman slipped.
“Our First Aiders were fantastic though, as were the Coastguard crews who assisted.
“But despite that, we are really pleased with how everything went. It was very positive.”
The 15-mile Six Harbour Walk takes in ports at Portsoy, Sandend, Cullen, Portknockie, Findochty and Buckie.
The cliff-top stroll began life 20 year ago, with people flocking from all over the world to take in stunning sights along the route such as Cullen’s viaduct and Bow Fiddle Rock at Portknockie.
About 420 people from all over Scotland took part in yesterday’s event.
Buckie councillor, Sonya Warren, is also a member of the Rotary Club and acted as a marshal at Findochty.
She said: “We risk-assess it to determine if there are any troublesome spots which could pose trip hazards, and we have several marshals to help anyone struggling.”
The walk was cancelled last year when two key members of the Rotary Club died within weeks of each other while planning it.
The deaths of Bill Greig and Charles McKay left organisers with no option but to pull the plug, with sections of the route also in doubt due to landslips.
Proceeds from this year’s event will be split between Clan Cancer Support in Moray, Sue Ryder Compassion and Care and Shelter Box disaster relief.
The Leonardo AW189 helicopter sent to the scene from Inverness was installed at the base last week, and is worth £20 million.
The aircraft replaced two Sikorsky S92 helicopters, which had been in active service since 2015.