Man dies after cliff plunge while tending sheep

A man has died after plunging nearly 30.5m from a cliff on to a rocky shore while looking for lost sheep.

Donald Macdonald, 46, had been searching for his brother’s lost ram when he lost his footing and fell off a cliff on the Western Isles, in Scotland.

A Stornoway coastguard helicopter was scrambled to the scene following reports that Mr Macdonald had vanished near the village of Swordale, on the Isle of Lewis, shortly before 4pm on Monday (14 January).

He was found with serious spinal and head injuries at headland near Branahuie, at Point, on Lewis.

Cliff rescue teams airlifted Mr Macdonald to the Western Isles Hospital, but he was later confirmed to have died from his injuries.

It is understood that Mr Macdonald had been living in the village with his mother and had gone out to help find his brother’s lost ram.

A spokesman for Northern Constabulary said: “At about 3.40pm on Monday, a 999 call was received from a member of the public reporting a male in his 40s had fallen down a cliff near Swordale, Isle of Lewis. Police coastguard and lifeboat attended.

“The coastguard helicopter airlifted a man in his 40s to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, where he later died from his injuries.

“Police are carrying out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal. Next of kin are aware.”

More on this topic

Farm health and safety

Philip Case on G+