A man missing from Colyton was flown to hospital with ‘life-changing injuries’ after coastguards found him buried deep in undergrowth off a cliff ledge near Seaton.
Police, search dogs, coastguard teams from Beer and Lyme Regis, the RNLI, and Dartmoor Search and Rescue, were called shortly before 9.30pm on Monday (August 10) to scour the East Devon coastline, finding the missing man injured and down the cliff face, more than 60 feet from the top.
The casualty’s injuries meant he could not be stretchered to safety by rescuers so the coastguard helicopter was tasked to winch him free to waiting paramedics.
He was flown to Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth, with what police are calling ‘possibly life-changing’ injuries.
The man was located after the police helicopter spotted his car off the coast path at Haven cliff, and rescuers discovered one of his possessions close to where he was found.
A member of the coastguard team was lowered down the cliff using ropes, finding the man alive but injured and deep in undergrowth.
A Beer Coastguard Rescue Team spokesman said: “The item was recovered and was confirmed by the police that it belonged to the missing male.
“Our rope technician was lowered further down the cliff to get to a point where he could see over a ledge.
“Our technician soon confirmed that the male was about sixty feet below him and was still alive.
“The technician was lowered down to the location in deep undergrowth.
“Due to the casualty’s injuries it was clear we could not get him onto stretcher to haul him up the cliff, so our helicopter from St Athan, in Wales, was requested.”
Also requested were paramedics from the ambulance service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).
The spokesperson added of the incident near Seaton: “Once the helicopter was on scene, they lowered their paramedic to the location, and secured him into a harness and winched him out of the undergrowth and up to the clifftop and waiting HART team for further treatment.”
The injured man was transferred to a stretcher, carried to the helicopter, which had landed a short distance away, and flown to hospital, said the coastguard.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: “Police searching for a missing man from Colyton last night located the man.
“Emergency services including Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group, police and coastguard carried out searches along the East Devon coastline.
“The man was located having sustained injuries and was taken to air ambulance to Derriford Hospital.
“He remains there at this time with injures described as possibly life-changing but not thought to be life threatening.”
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