Abigail thanks her rescue team with Europa abseil

Abigail Cairns abseiling down the face of the Europa Hotel in Belfast.
Abigail Cairns abseiling down the face of the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

You can’t keep Abigail Cairns down – not even after she had been stretchered off the Mournes, unconscious with hyperthermia.

The dramatic rescue by the Mourne Rescue Team took several hours after Gail (16) became ill during a Northern Ireland Girls’ Brigade expedition. It was a Duke of Edinburgh Gold event, and the Portadown College student was rushed to Daisy Hill Hospital.

She made a full recovery and bravely completed the expedition a month later. And last weekend, she abseiled down the face of the Europa Hotel to raise funds for the rescue team – the amount is approaching £500.

Gail said, “The girls accompanying me and the supervising leaders followed protocol when I took ill and should be commended. I’m so grateful to the mountain rescue staff, the PSNI, and paramedics as they ensured we all got off the mountain safely.”

The weather turned nasty, and the party had to be rescued. Abigail went unconscious and later she felt she wanted to give something back and decided to travel down the Europa “without using the stairs or lift!”

“It was much easier than the Mournes,” said Abigail who lives at Bocombra Meadows and is an AS student at the College – her subjects are maths, geography, biology and physics.

As an aside she is, right now, focused on becoming Teenage Miss Great Britain, an event that draws on brains, beauty and bravery. She is the Miss Armagh contestant in the forthcoming UK finals in Blackpool (late October) and her mountain, charity and intellectual actions of late will do her no harm at all!