Friday, February 29, 2008

Riftswood Footpaths Closed

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council have closed two footpaths this afternoon in Riftswood in Saltburn's Valley Gardens after two people needed hospital treatment. The incident happened in the early afternoon when a tree was blown down in the fierce winds. One person was taken to hospital by ambulance and a second needed to be freed by the fire and rescue service and paramedics before being flown to hospital by the air ambulance.

George Crooks, Redcar Fire Station manager, said: “The two ladies were walking a dog together in the park at Saltburn and a fairly substantial tree came down and hit both of them. The tree had broken into a number of parts. We believe an older tree had fallen and hit it. It broke some three to four metres up the trunk and fell right across the public walkway on to the ladies.” The firefighters involved included the retained crew from Saltburn. Mr Crooks commended the team. “The fire crews raised the tree sufficiently using manpower and levers. It was a very protracted and time-consuming incident, but had to be that way to ensure safety. The partnership approach was a huge success and will hopefully lead to the full recovery of both ladies."

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Leader Councillor George Dunning said: "This has been an extremely unfortunate accident due to the fierce swirling winds in the area. Our thoughts are with the two people who have been injured and we wish them a speedy recovery.We have evaluated the situation and taken the decision to close the two main paths, which both lead parallel from the Saltburn Woodland Centre to Marske Mill Lane because of the high winds and the forecast of more to come this weekend."

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.