Teenager dies in cliff fall

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A teenager has died after falling from cliffs at Slains Castle.

Cameron Smithies, 15, is believed to have plunged around 80ft and then fallen further into a deep gully on Saturday.

The Ellon Academy pupil, who was from Cruden Bay, was flown by a Sea King helicopter to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he died the following night.

Coastguards, police, lifeboat and ambulance teams attended the scene below the ruins of the castle.

Local councillor Stephen Smith said: “This is an absolute tragedy for the family and my thoughts are with them at this sad time.

“The cliffs at Slains Castle have had an unfortunate history over many years. The castle is a huge draw for tourists and walkers but it is an unmanaged ruin and I would appeal visitors to be careful.

Tributes were paid to teenager, who is thought to have been climbing the cliffs when he lost his footing and fell around 100ft.

Ellon Academy head teacher Tim McKay said: “Cameron was a happy boy with a wide circle of friends. He was very popular, enjoying lots of banter with his classmates.

“Cameron worked hard in all his studies, but particularly enjoyed the more practical subjects at school. He had decided to stay on next year before taking up an apprenticeship after that.

“Staff and pupils are devastated by his death, he will be missed by all of us.

“Pupils will be offered support from school counsellors and others as appropriate.”