An Austrian visitor cheated death yesterday after falling several feet over a cliff on the northern end of the island, near Animal Flower Cave in Connell Town, St Lucy.
The 37-year-old man, whose name could not be ascertained up to the time of publication, sustained a broken arm and a broken foot. He was rescued by emergency services personnel and rushed by ambulance for medical attention.
Barbados TODAY understands that the man, who works on a ship that is scheduled to leave the island on Sunday, was climbing back up the cliff after he made his way down, when a piece of rock he held onto gave way, sending him tumbling below.
It was not immediately clear if he suffered additional injuries.
While awaiting rescue, the visitor was not alone. Soon after one of his friends rushed to the Cave and signalled the alarm, tour guides Don Archer, 47, and Shurland Blackman, 41, used a rope to work their way down to join the injured man. They carried along a blanket to make him comfortable, kept him hydrated and talked to him throughout the ordeal.
And after he was rescued, the two men had to be helped up by members of the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Barbados Defence Force and other emergency officials.
Blackman, whose elderly mother waited with her hands on her head and a worried look on her face, was the last to be hauled up to a round of applause from the onlookers.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY, the two men, both of whom live near the Cave, said they went to assist the visitor and waited almost two hours with him because of their familiarity with the area.
Archer, who was preparing to end his workday when the incident happened, suggested that the visitor was saved by a miracle.
“Falling from that height and alive, he is a lucky man,” Archer said.
Meantime, Blackman, who usually goes down on the ledge, said it was clear that the visitor was suffering as a result of his injuries.
“At one point he started to fade out but we were keeping him talking. The firemen worked good man, and the sea was good because couple of weeks ago we couldn’t be down there because the sea was hitting how far we was.
“If it was rough we wouldn’t be able to help him. The sea would have washed him [away]. He lucky,” a tired looking Blackman noted.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Animal Flower Cave Manuel Ward made it clear that the incident did not take place on his property. However, he indicated that the emergency services got to the scene quickly and his team was happy to be able to offer assistance to the injured man.
The Austrian’s friends were visibly shaken and still in shock when Barbados TODAY visited the scene.
“We are just shocked. Our friend is bleeding a lot. We don’t want to talk to you, we just want to see him,” one of the distraught friends said.