Rescue team trapped by lightning storm forced to call in help after saving walker who fell 300ft

Man was safely taken to a nearby hospital and all personnel made it safely back

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A rescue team who successfully airlifted a trapped walker who fell almost 300ft off a remote Devon cliff had to request help after they became trapped by yesterday’s lightning storms.

The man in his fifties and a friend were walking off the coastal path near St Albans Head, Devon, when there was a landslide and the man became trapped beneath a large boulder.

Emergency teams worked on moving the massive stone off the man’s legs for two hours after some of them abseiled down the 300ft cliff after being alerted by the man’s friend at 7.20pm.

"It was a sizable rock that couldn't be lifted manually by two burly firemen, coastguard teams and paramedics,” Ian Brown from Swanage Coastguard, who assisted with the rescue, told the Daily Telegraph.

Eventually, the team of ten were forced to fly in hydraulic equipment to help lift the stone before the man was safely airlifted to Dorchester County Hospital.

By now, the weather had shifted and a lightning storm hit the area at around 1030pm – with 9 members of the crew still at the foot of the cliff.

“The weather really did hamper the rescue. It made it difficult and everything had to be done very carefully and very slowly," Mr Brown said.

The team, which included staff from St Albans and Swanage Coastguard Rescue were assisted by rescue specialists from the Dorset Fire and Rescue and Southwest Ambulance service, were finally back at their stations by 1am.