Firefighters save man stuck above Water of Leith

The man was rescued from the back of Randolph Crescent. Picture: Esme Allen
The man was rescued from the back of Randolph Crescent. Picture: Esme Allen
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TWENTY firefighters spent 45 minutes early today searching for a man who got stuck 200ft down an embankment above the Water of Leith, but could not tell emergency services where he was.

The man, in his 30s, dialled 999 on his mobile phone at 1am this morning and reported he had lost his way as he walked home from Stockbridge. He could not give his location beyond saying he was among greenery near the Water of Leith, but said he was injured.

Firefighters were dispatched to the area in a bid to track him down.

Some searched on foot up and down the river, while a fire engine toured nearby streets sounding its siren at different locations as the 999 operator, who kept the man on the line, asked him if he could hear it.

After about 45 minutes, the firefighters managed to locate the man, just as another call was received from a resident in Randolph Crescent who could hear cries for help from behind the property.

The fire crew then carried out a line rescue from the top of the 400ft high embankment, with two firefighters abseiling down to reach the man. They put him in a “nappy” stretcher and lowered him a further 200ft down to the pathway along the Water of Leith.

It is believed the man had lost his footing and fallen down the embankment. The fire service said 19 firefighters and one officer were involved in the operation. An ambulance was called, but police said the man was uninjured and they took him home.