Thursday, February 07, 2008

Surviving the fall! 200ft from the viaduct!

A man plunged nearly 200ft from a Teesside landmark - and survived. The 35-year-old was seen to fall from the Saltburn viaduct on Saturday. Witnesses reported seeing his fall broken by trees - after which he hit the ground and rolled down into the water. A major rescue operation involving police, fire crews and road and air ambulance followed soon after 2.45pm.
Paul Thompson, Cleveland Fire Brigade Watch Manager at Saltburn station, whose crews were first on the scene, said: “It looks like he’s come off the viaduct, about 180ft, hit tree branches and rolled down a steep embankment. We rescued him from the water. He was conscious. He should count himself a lucky man.”
He said the plan for such an incident had been worked out by himself and colleagues a year ago.
He added: “The plan worked well. We had two appliances and the rope rescue team from Coulby Newham station along with police and ambulances.”
He said witnesses had reported hearing a rush of air and the crashing of tree branches prior to the man - believed to be from East Cleveland - hitting the ground.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said a man was “poorly but stable” in James Cook University Hospital.
Saltburn Viaduct is the same height as the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough, which is also 180ft.

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