16/06/2008

Man Survives Cliff Crash

A man has suffered serious injuries - but lived to tell the tale - after his vehicle plunged over a cliff face.

The 42-year-old man's Vauxhall Frontera fell half way down the 120 metre high cliff at Emmetts Hill, St Aldhelm's Head in Purbeck, yesterday morning.

A man on a motor cruiser, moored in Chapman's Pool, who heard the sound of the man's cries for help, raised the alarm.

The rescue involved Dorset Police, coastguard teams from St Albans and Swanage, the coastguard helicopter and the South Western Ambulance Service.

Allan Norman, Wathc Manager, Porltand Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre said: "When the Coastguard Rescue Officers arrived on scene they found a car at the foot of the cliffs, cries could still be heard but it was difficult to locate the casualty due to the undergrowth.

"The casualty was found by the winch man from the helicopter who was lowered into the search area; the casualty was then taken by air to Poole, where the Poole Coastguard Rescue team had prepared the landing site to enable the Ambulance to take the casualty to Poole General Hospital."

The man, from Swanage, suffered two broken legs and abdominal injuries. He underwent surgery at Poole Hospital yesterday.

It is believed that the man was thrown from his vehicle on impact.

Dorset Police say that there are no suspicious circumstances and it is believed that no other person was in the vehicle.

Additionally, his dog, who was also thrown from the vehicle was found unhurt.

The incident is being classed as a road traffic collision.

Anyone with information or witnesses are asked to call 01202 222 222.

(DS)

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