Tragedy at Slains Castle

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A teenager from Cruden Bay has died after falling than 100ft from cliffs at Slains Castle on Saturday.

The victim was named by police on Sunday night as 15-year-old Cameron Smithies.

It is believed Cameron may have been climbing the cliffs when he fell around 80ft and then fell again into a deep gully.

A rescue operation was initiated by Emergency Services following a report of the incident.

Police Scotland attended the scene along with the Coastguard, Peterhead Lifeboat and Scottish Ambulance Service.

The RNLI Peterhead Relief Tamar Lifeboat ‘Frank and Anne Wilkinson’ launched at 5.55pm with its volunteer crew to rescue the teenage casualty.

The lifeboat arrived on the scene at approximately 6.10pm, then launched its daughter craft “Y” boat which proceeded into the cove at the foot of the cliff where the teenager had fallen.

The two crew of the “Y” boat aided a paramedic and a member of the coastguards who had been lowered down the cliff to stabilise the teenager and prepare him for extraction from the location by helicopter.

After Rescue 137 Sea King helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth had lifted the teenage victim from the foot of the cove, the lifeboat returned to Peterhead.

The teenager was flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he later died.

This is the second incident at the site in less than a week.

On Thursday morning, the Peterhead Lifeboat, police and ambulance crew were called out to Slains Castle but managed to successully rescue the victim.

Last month, the Lifeboat crew were called out to the site to rescue a dog after it fell more than 60ft down a cliff next to the ruins. Unfortunately it died at a local vets the following day due to injuries.

Speaking after the incident, PC Matthew Roger of Buchan Local Policing Team said: “Whilst a popular attraction to many I would like to highlight the particulary hazardous nature of the ruins at Slains Castle.

“Members of the public are encouraged to take great care at this site and parents are asked to ensure they are aware and take efforts to prevent their children playing here unsupervised.”

Local councillor Stephen Smith said: “This is an absolute tragedy for the family and my thoughts are with them at this sad time.

“The cliffs at Slains Castle have had an unfortunate history over many years. The castle is a huge draw for tourists and walkers but it is an unmanaged ruin and I would appeal visitors to be careful.”