A DOG walker was airlifted to hospital by the RAF after breaking her ankle at a remote coastal spot.
Margaret Jefferson, 58, from Dawdon, was out walking West Highland terriers Max and Ellie with her daughter-in-law Dawn Walker, 32, when she slipped on the steps of Smuggler’s Path.
The spot, between Hawthorn and Dawdon, is some distance from a road and close to the beach, leaving the emergency services the only option of drafting in a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland to transport her to Sunderland Royal.
Paramedics and members of HM Coastguard, who were called out at 1.30pm, had to walk to the spot from the car park at Nose’s Point to offer her first aid.
Margaret’s partner Colin Atkinson, 52, who runs Seaham Taxis, was phoned by the women as they realised they needed help, but he and others were unable to move her without help because of where she had fallen.
Colin said: “They’d taken the dogs out to Smuggler’s Path and she slipped on the stones.
“I think it’s her leg that’s broken, and there’s no way we could have carried her back. They put something around her leg and gave her some gas and air.
“The helicopter landed on the beach, then circled around and then went back, so I think they might have winched her up.”