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‘I fell 15ft from Fife cliffs after a party – but a mobile app saved my life’

Mikey Hutton was found thanks to the what3words app.
Mikey Hutton was found thanks to the what3words app.

A Fife man has told how a mobile app saved his life after he fell 15ft down cliffs after a party.

Mikey Hutton was left stranded on rocks for more than three hours after falling off the Fife Coastal Path in Burntisland, as he returned from a get-together on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old had walked off the cliff in darkness after getting disorientated.

App led police to scene

His brother raised the alarm, but as time ticked on – and with a rising tide just a few feet away – emergency rescue crews struggled to find his whereabouts.

That was until police asked Mikey to download the what3words app to his mobile phone.

The app – which provides a unique three-word phrase for every 3m square in the world – led officers and a coastguard helicopter to his location.

The rescue was filmed by Kinghorn lifeboat crew members.

Mikey, who suffered no serious injuries in the fall, told The Courier: “Without doubt I would not be alive now if it wasn’t for the app.

“I owe my life to that app.”

Mikey, a labourer, got into trouble when he failed to get off the train at Kinghorn – and had to alight at Burntisland instead.

“Having had a few drinks I set off walking back to Kinghorn, but quickly became very disorientated and set off in the wrong direction,” he said.

 I had no idea where I was, other than that the sea was just a few feet away

“I was talking to my brother via video call when I suddenly felt myself falling.

“With it being dark I had no idea where I was, other than that the sea was just a few feet away.

“I initially thought I had broken either my leg or my back because of the shooting pains, and I was wedged between rocks.

“Police were telling me to keep screaming out for help but nobody came for over three hours.

Mikey was left with no serious injuries despite his fall.

“Then I was told to download the app which pinpointed exactly where I was.”

Mikey says he was “overwhelmed” when police finally found him.

He said: “A policeman clambered down the cliff to assist me while the coastguard helicopter used its search light.

“From there I was eventually transferred to the lifeboat, as it was too dangerous to airlift me from the rocks.

Saved from ‘almost certain death’

“The emergency crews were astounded that I came away with just a few grazes and a sore back, given the distance I fell.”

Mikey now wants to use his lucky escape to encourage others to download the app.

He added: “It’s amazing that such a simple thing saved me from almost certain death.

“I shudder to think what might have happened, had it not helped the emergency crews to find me when they did.”

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