St. Andrew’s student dies after 60ft plunge

By Benjamin Zand

Alex Wilson, 19, a first-year French and Spanish student at St. Andrew’s University, was heading to a bonfire night beach party with a friend when he fell 60ft into the sea from a cliff close to the St. Andrew’s University in Fife

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The student is the 5th person to die in recent years due to falling from the cliff (Courtesy of the BBC)

Police said that the incident took place at 1.35am on Friday morning, and the student’s body washed up onto shore near St Andrew’s sea life centre at 3.00am.

Mr. Wilson, from Alberbury, Shropshire, was accomponied by his friend when he fell, but the police ensure there are no suspiscious circumstances.

A lifeboat and an RAF helicopter where deployed in the search for Mr. Wilson.

Alex was described as a ‘very popular’ and ‘bright’ student by the University’s vice-principal Stephen Magee, who also went on to say, “We send our sincere condolences to Alex’s parents, Chris and Jean, and his brother, Henry, at this enormously difficult time.”

Alex is understood to be the 5th person to die at the site. Following incidents in 2005 and 2006, when a 31 year-old man from South Africa and a 20 year-old from Montana, America also lost their lives at the same spot. These events have raised huge discussion and controversy about the safety measures put in place to prevent events like this happening. Due to this, a wall that hid the edge of the cliff was replaced with high railings, but people still don’t feel this is enough.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) for example said greater steps must be taken to raise awareness of the cliffs among students.

But Cllr Bill Sangster, who was involved in a safety review following the earlier incidents, said whilst speaking to the Telegraph, there was now clear signage in the area warning of the drop.

He added: “I can’t understand what happened. You can now see through the railings and see there is just a short slope before the cliff.”

Police have appealed for any information people may have, and stated they are specifically keen to speak to a young American man who is believed to have spoken to the Mr. Wilson just moments before his death.