Drunk teens spark major rescue during Festival fireworks

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RBS FireworksBy Rory Reynolds

TWO drunken schoolboys aged just 15-years-old sparked a dramatic late night rescue after falling on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh – during one of the city’s busiest days of the year.

One of the boys was found unconscious by passers-by who raised the alarm around 9.30pm on Sunday.

The other – described by ambulance chiefs as being drunk and incapable – was suffering severe head injuries.

They were lowered to safety the specialist Line Rescue Team from Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service around the same time as the city’s spectacular annual festival fireworks display was taking place.

Both were rushed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where an A&E team were waiting to treat the boys.The incident involved 15 firefighters, including the special line team, a senior commander and four appliances.

Drunk and Incapable

It also included two ambulance crews, two park rangers and a police unit.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “The first patient had a frontal head injury and was described as ‘drunk and incapable’.

“He had consumed large quantities of alcohol, and between the head injury and alcohol he was fairly serious but not life-threatening.

She said: “At 9.50pm one of our crew called in to say that they had found a second male, who was then taken to hospital.”

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue confirmed: “We attended an incident in Holyrood Park.

“Two 15-year-old males had to be rescued from Arthur’s Seat after Park Rangers requested assistance at 9.20pm.

Unconscious

“They were put in stretchers and lowered down the hillside by our specialist line team.

“At 9.45pm the first male was carried down and at and at 9.50pm we were told that a second male had been brought off the hillside unconscious.”

“We had 14 firefighters, one senior officer, four vehicles at the scene of the incident.”

Martin Gray of the Holyrood Park Ranger Service added: “Staff from the Ranger Service assisted emergency services last night in dealing with an incident involving two casualties.

“The service’s four-wheel drive vehicle was used to help emergency services staff access the two individuals who had fallen near St Anthony’s Chapel.”

Jack Law, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said that this kind of incident is all too frequent.

Fatal

He said: “All too often it’s the emergency services which have to deal with the consequences of under-age drinking.

“We must introduce more effective prevention and education measures, combined with stricter enforcement of the licensing laws restricting under-18 sales.

“Parents and others supplying alcohol to under-18’s also need to understand that their actions could have serious, even fatal, consequences.”

Edinburgh City Councillor Cameron Rose added: “This can be a learning experience for these children, and if alcohol is involved it’s a warning shot from which they can learn.

“We do have a culture of alcohol amongst many young folk and the key is for these kids to take the chance they’ve got and learn a lesson for life.

“This is also a chance for us all to value and appreciate our emergency services and the work they do.”

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