"Student's Fall Over Rocks"
From the Press and Journal, 1925
Accident at Nigg Bay - COASTGUARD ORGANISES RESCUE.
A serious accident, which occurred at the Bay of Nigg, near Aberdeen,
on Saturday, serves as another reminder to holiday-makers that the
rocks which skirt the bay, though picturesque, are dangerous. The
victim of the accident, who now lies in a critical condition in
the Infirmary, is a young University student, Mr John M Henderson,
who hails from Nether Oldwhat, New Deer, and resides in lodgings
at 36 Summerfield Terrace, Aberdeen. He is a fifth year Arts and
Science student. It is understood that Mr Henderson was searching
for botanical specimens, when he fell over a cliff.
The accident occurred at Gregness, almost at the south end of the
bay, at a point where the sea has cut out a deep gully and where
a rocky cliff rises 40 feet high at the end of a miniature peninsula.
The young man was seen walking along the top of the shore cliffs
about 8 o'clock in the morning by Mr Henry Joyce, coast guardsman.
It was two hours later before it became known that anything was
Cries for Help.
At 10 o'clock a young lady - Miss Archibald, who resides in
Mount Street, was walking along the top of the cliffs, when she
heard someone moaning and calling feebly for help. Running along
to where a grass-topped natural bridge connects the ridge of rocks
with the beach cliffs, she found a comparatively easy descent, and
scrambling along as fast as she could, she came upon Mr Henderson
lying in a pool of blood on a sloping ledge. Evidently he had just
recovered consciousness. The girl tried to move him into a comfortable
position, and filling her hat with water, she washed the blood from
an ugly wound in his forehead. She then scrambled up the way she
had descended and ran to the coastguard station with news of the
Mr Joyce, accompanied by two joiners who were engaged on repair
work at the coastguard station, hurried to the scene of the accident,
which was only about a hundred yards away. The beach cliff at the
spot is 70 feet high and it was impossible to say whether it was
from it, or from the somewhat lower rock at the other side of the
gully, that the student had fallen. Mr Joyce at once saw that the
young man was in a serious condition and that for the rescuers to
scramble up the rock with him would be a dangerous expedient. Accordingly,
he ran back to the station for some ropes and a "bo'sn's chair,"
which was lowered from the top of the beach cliff.
Hauled Up Cliff Side.
Mr Henderson was set in the chair, lashed securely to the ropes
and hauled up over the cliff. A number of men, who had been attracted
to the spot by observing that something unusual was going on, assisted
in the operation and some of them stood on the steep side of the
rock and prevented Mr Henderson from being dashed against it as
he swung in mid-air.
Meantime Mrs Joyce, the coastguardsman's wife, though only a few
days convalescent after a severe illness, ran all the way from the
station to the Girdleness Lighthouse to telephone to Aberdeen for
an ambulance. The St. Andrew's Ambulance was promptly on the scene
and Mr Henderson was removed to the Royal Infirmary, where it was
found he had sustained fractures of his jawbone, both his wrists
and one of his ankles, besides a severe cut on his forehead and
several other cuts and bruises.
On inquiry at the Infirmary last night, it was learned that Mr Henderson,
while progressing as satisfactorily as could be expected, was still
in a critical condition.