Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rescue drama near Saltburn Cliff Lift

A man who went chasing after his escaped dog sparked a dramatic rescue operation when he fell down a Saltburn cliff and knocked himself unconscious.

Firefighters joined police and ambulance personnel in the search after reports that a man had disappeared down the side of the upper promenade near the junction of Amber Street and Marine Parade shortly after 10.39pm on Monday night.

A fire crew from Saltburn used a thermal image camera and lighting in the search. They were joined by the police helicopter, which is also equipped with heat-seeking equipment. The man was found in the dense undergrowth.

Police said the 32-year-old man had been for a night out drinking before returning home.

His dog escaped and he chased it, only to slip and fall over the railings near the cliff lift when he ran after it.

As the man lay unconscious on the steep, bramble-strewn bank, several other men who had been drinking were discouraged by police from going to his rescue.

Cleveland Fire Brigade sent a crew from Saltburn fire station to rescue the man, who was found in undergrowth with the assistance of the police helicopter.

The rescue team used ropes, a thermal imaging camera and flashlights in the dramatic rescue operation.

The unconscious man was then placed on a spinal board and lifted back up to a waiting ambulance.

He came around in the ambulance and was taken to James Cook University Hospital with injuries described as “not life-threatening”.

He complained of a headache and had suffered several grazes to his body. He remained in the Middlesbrough hospital where his condition was described as stable.

Local photographer Ian Forsyth, who witnessed the dramatic rescue, praised the emergency services for the way they handled the incident.

He said: “It was a very good job that the emergency services did across the board. There were people on the lower promenade and people on the upper prom and they all did a really good job.

“You could see them battling through the dense undergrowth of brambles. They weren’t the easiest conditions to work in, but they found him and got him sorted.”

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