By Sam Whyte
AN AUSTRALIAN pensioner is lucky to be alive after a countryside stroll ended with her clinging to a tree above a ravine.
Jenny Edwards, 64, slid 50ft while walking near the exclusive Dalhousie Castle Hotel in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian. The woman from Sydney narrowly avoided falling a further 40ft to her death on rocks below when she crashed into a tree.
Brave Jenny had the strength to cling to the tree with one hand and fish out her mobile with the other so that she could summon help. Jenny was staying at the 600-year-old hotel with companion Tim Davis, 72, as part of a tour of the UK.
She said: “I was taking one of the walks and the mud was a foot thick. I thought, ‘There has to be a better way, why not make my way down stream?’”
Jenny slipped in the mud and found herself slipping down the steep slope. She said: “I got stopped by this tree and I could see it was overhanging. I knew if I went any further I would have fallen down onto the rocks about 40ft below.”
Terrified Jenny then phoned Tim for help who contacted the fire brigade. She added: “The firemen put a harness on me and pulled me back up the ravine – you could say this is the most excitement I’ve had on this trip.
“The efforts of the police, the fire brigade and the hotel staff were absolutely fantastic. I felt pretty stupid after this and from now on I will be sticking to the paths.”
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said they were “delighted” that they were able to help Jenny. Group Commander Richie Hall said: “We are absolutely delighted with this result in rescuing Jenny. The location where Jenny had fallen was quite isolated from the hotel.
“I would remind people when they are out walking to stick to the designated routes and make somebody aware of the route they have taken. And, like Jenny, you should always take a mobile phone with you.
“We had crews from Musselburgh, Dalkeith and specialist line rescue crew from Newcraighall in attendance and worked alongside the police and ambulance service.”
Hotel manager Alan Fry said: “She wasn’t actually walking in the hotel grounds but we’re really pleased Jenny is safe and well. She was staying with us over the weekend but checked out this morning (Tuesday) and is now on her way back home to Australia.
“We wish her all the best.”