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19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

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19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Dempsey on Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:49 pm

Striving to maintain exceptional standards of debauchery.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Super Jock on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:10 pm

Was it windy or were they drunk? Cause I've personally never found a walk on the scores life threatening. Actually I find it funny that there are signs on the top saying "warning falling rocks." Since when did rocks fall up?
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby osigiarak on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:23 pm

As far as I'm aware, they make falling over those cliffs a pretty difficult thing to achieve. He must really have been trying hard.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby kiwifruit on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:26 pm

It said he was trying to take a shortcut, I guess he climbed over a fence or something. It's a horrible thing to happen.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Frank on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:57 pm

Shortcut down into the aquarium/Catch bit? I suppose I could sortof see that making sense.

Still, utterly daft way to go; very needless and sad turn indeed.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby pandora-incarnate on Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:44 pm

I doubt it was the bit towards Catch - after the incident with a student falling from the cliff there last year it was made quite a lot harder to climb over those railings. On top of that, Catch closes at 1am on a Thursday night and everyone has to be off the premises by 1.15am so there would have been no point to be going that way at 1.30am. I would guess it would have been over by castle sands, towards the museum or castle.

It is utterly tragic though, and my thoughts are with the family and friends. Awful accident.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Power Metal Dom on Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:52 pm

Immeasurably sad. I can't comprehend what the friends and family are going through. This is deeply upsetting news for all of St Andrews.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Super Jock on Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:22 pm

I sympathise with the family, they must be saddened and infuriated by the manor in which they lost someone.

Time to make an argument.

I feel that when someone dies in St Andrews of natural causes, like a girl in FP three years whose ago heart stopped, Lovely girl, really tragic. (I'm disappointed with myself that I've forgotten her name.) Only the friends and family seem to care, and we get an email about it. When some dies stupidly, ie. Raisin weekend off a wall or ran over by an ambulance, don't remember the details exact, strangers suddenly care. Perhaps I'm growing into a tired and grumpy man, missing the true point. I'm just really sad that a gift as great as life is thrown away, that's all.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Gubbins on Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:00 pm

This sadly isn't the first time this has happened - I forget the last time, but it should be within the memory of some current students. I fail to see why the cliffs there are such a death trap, walled off as they are. Nevertheless - take care up there everyone!
...then again, that is only my opinion.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby RedCelt69 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:12 pm

Gubbins wrote:This sadly isn't the first time this has happened - I forget the last time, but it should be within the memory of some current students. I fail to see why the cliffs there are such a death trap, walled off as they are. Nevertheless - take care up there everyone!


http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2006/01/04/newsstory7894684t0.asp

Some note-worthy snippets:-

Matthew Madison (20) from Montana, who was visiting Scotland with friends from his university in Italy, became the fourth victim in as many years after he climbed on a wall at The Scores shortly before 2 am and fell from the cliffs.


Insp Jenks added, “There are warning signs and a set of railings at either side of the wall but I think it’s time we had a look at what we can do to improve safety at that point.

This was in 2006. I wonder if it's time, yet?

During the Open Championship in St Andrews in July, 31-year-old Derek Blane of Johannesburg, South Africa, died after falling from the cliffs close to the scene of yesterday’s accident.
Other victims in recent years have included an American studying at Edinburgh University, and a St Andrews student.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby kiwifruit on Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:43 pm

OK, but two sets of railings, a wall and warning signs is pretty comprehensive. Short of barbed wire I'm not sure what else you could do.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Delts on Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:58 pm

I thought there were railings on top of that wall? It's been a while since I've been there but I was sure that there was railings on top of the bit where the policeman is stood.

If there isn't, then that's certainly something that could/should be done.

This is the second time someone has fallen at the scores in a year though and the second student to fall to their death as well. Maybe a ban on students being allowed near anything tall?
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Al on Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:15 pm

I think that's an old photograph. Probably from the last time someone thought climbing over a barrier at the top of a cliff was a good idea.

I don't see what else could be done to prevent similar accidents in the future. You'll always get drunken students will doing something foolish. If they're not doing climbing the fence/wall above Witch Lake, they'll manage to come to grief somewhere and somehow else. Like climbing the cliffs at the castle. Or they'd take to a dinghy in an ill-advised night paddle to Tentsmuir. Hell, even something innocuous like wandering off alone on the West Sands has produced fatalities.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby LonelyPilgrim on Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:14 am

People do stupid things and die.

Really unlikely stuff happens and people die.

Sometimes, people just die.

All facts of life. The world cannot be made idiot proof, random chance proof, or death proof. I'm sick and tired of the media always calling for 'more to be done' every time something happens. If something more should be done, within reason, then by all means, but any more the 'do more' slogan seems to be a knee-jerk reaction. People die who shouldn't. Grow up, world.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby RedCelt69 on Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:19 am

LonelyPilgrim wrote:People do stupid things and die.

Really unlikely stuff happens and people die.

Sometimes, people just die.

I concur. In this instance, however, there seems to be a spot on The Scores which is a magnet for accidental deaths. I can't picture the spot (only walked along where I *think* it happened a couple of times) but I'm assuming that whatever was done in the past to improve safety - well, it seems not to have worked too successfully.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Frank on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:47 am

Super Jock wrote:I feel that when someone dies in St Andrews of natural causes, like a girl in FP three years whose ago heart stopped, Lovely girl, really tragic. (I'm disappointed with myself that I've forgotten her name.) Only the friends and family seem to care, and we get an email about it. When some dies stupidly, ie. Raisin weekend off a wall or ran over by an ambulance, don't remember the details exact, strangers suddenly care. Perhaps I'm growing into a tired and grumpy man, missing the true point. I'm just really sad that a gift as great as life is thrown away, that's all.


My reading of the situation is slightly different.

Girl in FP dying is something more genuinely humbling, worrying. The 'it makes you think' sort of thing, not the 'well I won't be doing that!' sort of thing. With that in mind, something truly accidental, something overwhelmingly natural and not to do with acting on slight-severe-terminal 'bad ideas', I think folks just feel less inclined to comment on the former case. The most 'stupid' deaths are ones which folks feel easier openly commenting on and expressing sympathy.

More simply, the former engenders a slightly more dignified, muted response from people. I mean, how would anyone not feel a twang of sorrow and 'care'? It's easy to conflate 'not caring' and 'silence' and perhaps I'm being a bleeding heart here, but it strikes me that more people care about the former, but that there's also very little to say in such cases. Natural young deaths are tragic, especially so when close to our own monkeysphere. But by the same token there's something less sympathetic too; anyone could be a temporary idiot and jump a wall, not everyone has a potentially life endangering condition.

That said, the distinction between 'natural causes' and 'poor decision making lead to death' is still interesting.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby munchingfoo on Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:49 pm

RedCelt69 wrote:I concur. In this instance, however, there seems to be a spot on The Scores which is a magnet for accidental deaths. I can't picture the spot (only walked along where I *think* it happened a couple of times) but I'm assuming that whatever was done in the past to improve safety - well, it seems not to have worked too successfully.


The real acid test for me is if you have young children falling to their deaths, or old people slipping and falling to their deaths. Then, clearly, something more would need to be done because we cannot expect those people to protect themselves from the dangers. In this case however, it's always fit, young men (I think, any women?) who have made the conscious decision to climb over the safety framework that the powers that be have put in place. You'd pretty much have to put a 10ft fence with barbed wire on top in order to stop those actions, and quite frankly, however heartless this sounds, I would rather not have my beautiful coastal view ruined because of a minority of people who wish to endanger their own lives.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby macgamer on Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:52 pm

There are less substantial railings / fences in the gardens of properties along the cliff edge.

It has only been about three years since the last fatality from the cliff. Although the last one was during the summer.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby queen of scots on Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:30 pm

macgamer wrote:There are less substantial railings / fences in the gardens of properties along the cliff edge.


And one paper said he took a short cut through a garden.
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Re: 19 year old student falls to his death on the scores

Postby Ian Sutherland on Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:20 pm

This is from the above-mentioned BBC article about the cliff fall

"University vice-principal Stephen Magee, said: ... "Alex was in his first year with us studying French and Spanish and also social anthropology. He was a bright and very popular student who was much loved by his family and friends." "

This is from an article about Alex Richardson, who fell through the roof of the DIY shop on south street earlier this year
(http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Fal ... 5118347.jp):

"St Andrews principal Louise Richardson described the Spanish and French student as "bright and very popular, loved by his friends and family"."

Questions:

(1) Are students of French and Spanish called Alex who are bright, very popular, and loved by friends and family somehow more likely to kill themselves by getting drunk and falling, or is it perhaps that somebody in the university press office re-used a statement and forgot to change all the details?

(2) Are all students who die here officially said to be bright, very popular, and loved by their friends and family, or does the university have a different standard form of words for someone who is a bit thick, a loner, has no friends and has been disowned by their family?
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