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Fatality After Climbing Tallest Cliff Face in Britain

August 5 2004 at 10:26 PM
roger  (Login dipper)

Response to August 2004 Accidents/Rescues


A FIFTY-five-year-old climber fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition of scaling the highest cliff in Britain – then plunged to his death a day later in an abseiling accident.
Father-of-two Les Gorham, a company director from Didsbury, died after falling 70ft down a sheer rock face on the remote island of Orkney off Scotland’s north-east coast.
The experienced climber and a 32-year-old friend from Orkney were abseiling down the Clett-of-Crura seastack, a rocky outcrop in Windwick Bay, south Ronaldsay, when he suddenly fell through a loop in his climbing rope onto the rock base below.
An RNLI lifeboat crew based in Longhope, rescued Mr Gorman in its inflatable dinghy. An ambulance then took him to Balfour Memorial Hospital in Kirkwall, where he died hours later.
A post-mortem in Inverness revealed Mr Gorham, who ran a sales network for Ecoflow, a firm specialising in electromagnetic therapy products from his home in Fog Lane, died of massive head injuries.
The accident, at about 7pm last Wednesday, July 28, occurred just a day after Mr Gorham, who leaves behind a 17-year-old son Michael and daughter Erica, 14, scaled St John’s Head in Orkney, the tallest cliff face in Britain.

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