Hotelier thanks rescue heroes after falling 40ft

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Mull hotelier Laurence Mackay is a lucky man after surviving a 40ft fall while painting a chimney.

Mr  Mackay’s fall was broken by a flat roof and then a plastic pipe before he landed in a gully with no access.

Only his wife Katie and the chef were at the island’s remote Tiroran House Hotel at the time and rang 999 to get help.

‘Before we knew it, every man and his dog turned up to help,’ said Laurence, who ended up with four fractures to his back and one to his sternum.

Rescuers had to remove a window so ambulance staff could climb through and get to him.

He was put in a neck brace and strapped to a stretcher before he was passed back through the window on it and taken through the hotel onto the lawn where an air ambulance was waiting for him.

‘It was a tortuous route but I was very grateful. We had first responders, the ambulance, Coastguard, fire brigade, police and the air ambulance. The emergency services were fantastic,’ added Laurence.

The air ambulance could not land at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s helipad and had to be diverted to the airport before he was taken by ambulance to get checked out.

Two days later Laurence was allowed back home to recover.

‘Considering we are in such a remote spot, the speed of all the emergency services was commendable,’ he said.

Katie added: ‘By the time I got a ferry and got to him in hospital, they’d got him all sorted and he was sitting up drinking a cup of tea.’

It was the family’s second air rescue in three months. On Boxing Day their daughter also had to be airlifted to hospital after  falling ill.