Grandfather hails his little hero after cliffside rescue

A SADDLEWORTH grandfather does not need to look far to find his hero after he found himself the centre of a major cliffside rescue.

For his 11-year-old grandson leapt into action and made sure emergency services could respond and find him.Phil Blanchard found himself in agony after slipping and breaking his thigh bone as he made his way to a fishing site with young Nathan Anderson-Moores.

Stuck in pain in an awkward location without a phone, the 62-year-old found himself in danger. But the youngster’s actions saved the day.

“I called Nathan back,” recalled Phil as he recovers at home on Coblers Hill in Delph.

“He heard me fall but he returned and I said, ‘You’ll have to get a phone,’ as I’d left mine back at the caravan site we were staying at because I may have dropped it into the sea!

“Calm as anything, he found a German tourist who spoke pretty good English. However, he couldn’t really explain what had happened.

“But he went and found another man who was going fishing, so he used the German man’s phone to dial 999.”

Nathan’s role was not finished as the drama in a remote location near Eyemouth in the Scottish borders unfolded.

Poor weather meant ambulances could not get close while the lifeboat, coastguard and police also attended – all under the youngster’s guidance.

Firefighters formed a human chain to lift Phil up the cliff to a waiting Coastguard helicopter.

The pair had been walking down to a rocky cove to go fishing when Phil slipped.

“I just fell about two feet,” he added. “But I fell on my thigh bone and it broke.

“It wasn’t slippery as such. It was more a case of me losing my footing.

“Nathan did brilliantly. After getting the emergency services, he showed them where I was as I couldn’t really be seen from above.

“What he did was marvellous. Now I’m spoiling him rotten.”

Phil spent 10 days at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after the incident on Tuesday, August 6.

Nathan’s proud mum Joanne Moores said: “Nathan kept a cool head under pressure and we are all very proud of him.

“We think that the Scouts and the lessons that he has learned helped him.

“It must have been terrifying for him but he’s back to normal now. Having a tour of the fire station really put a smile back on his face.

“The emergency services did not know where they were at first so Nathan had to show them and instruct them how to get down the cliff edge. It all took quite a while.

“The lifeboat crew decided it was too slippery to move Phillip by boat. There was a doctor in the helicopter so they did a human chain and got him up before he was airlifted to hospital.”

Nathan’s heroics could result in an recognition as Phil revealed he is being put forward for a Police Scotland Bravery Award.

Before then, Eyemouth Community Fire Station detailed the rescue mission and called him a hero before he was given a tour.

A spokesman for the station said: “We met him to say well done for summoning and guiding emergency services to his grandad who had slipped on rocks breaking his femur.

“11-year-old Nathan stayed calm and passed all requested information.

“He was taken to get dried off and looked after so we missed telling him how well he did.

“We wish Phillip all the best in his recovery.”

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