• STV
  • MySTV

Boy beats odds after plummeting from Highlands cliff, breaking both legs

Arthur Borgogno, from France, was with his mum Julie when he fell down the gorge.

Rescue: Arthur Borgogno was stuck in a gully.
Rescue: Arthur Borgogno was stuck in a gully.

It started out as a peaceful Highland holiday but quickly turned into a nightmare, as 14-year-old Arthur Borgogno slipped and plummeted 15ft off a cliff and found himself stuck in rocky trap.

Both legs were broken. His mother was left watching helplessly from above as emergency crews scrambled to the seaside in a desperate bid to save his life.

The vacationing teen's plight was worsened by geography - the cliff he fell from was at Sinclair Castle near Wick and four hours away by car from the nearest medical facilities in Aberdeen that would be needed to save his life.

It took emergency staff more than two hours to free his foot from a crack, which was made more difficult by the fast approaching tide and the struggle to move him to a safe position.

Once the French boy was freed, a helicopter cut the travel time to Aberdeen considerably.

"The oxygen was gone from his foot and I was really worried he was going to lose it," mother Julie told STV News, adding she didn't think her son would actually step out onto the rock. She added: "But the doctor was fantastic and saved it."

Rescue: The 14-year-old was trapped for almost three hours.
Rescue: The 14-year-old was trapped for almost three hours. Wick RNLI

It's the second time in less than a week that a tourist was threatened with death, after a Texas man needed to be extracted after sinking deep into the wet sand in Dumfries and Galloway over the weekend.

Several organisations helped save the teen. The coastguard, RNLI, police and ambulance services all raced to beat the clock. John Taylor of Wick RNLI Lifeboat said they wished him a quick recovery and said the call highlighted the strong teamwork amongst different services.

RNLI: A major rescue operation was launched.
RNLI: A major rescue operation was launched. Wick RNLI

Arthur's story isn't over yet. He will likely require more surgery when he leaves Aberdeen and returns to France. The family also has a camper van left behind in Wick which needs to somehow be returned to Edinburgh.

In the meantime, he is spending his time playing video games.

"Arthur is recovering well, he plays video games from his bed. He loves Scotland so much now he actually wants to stay," Julie said. "We want to thank all the people involved. From the rescue teams in Wick, to the helicopter pilot who waved us goodbye, to the staff here, everyone has been so lovely and we are truly grateful."

While challenges await, the teen had a simple message to pass along - "Thank you for saving me."

An earlier version of this story suggested the teen's mother jokingly asked him to pose on a rock. This was a mistranslation.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.