Cliff plunge driver in serious condition

A MAN has been airlifted to hospital after his car his plunged over 200ft cliffs at Hartland Quay in the early hours of this morning (Sunday). The man is being treated at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. The extent of his injuries has not yet

RESCUERS can't believe that the man they extricated from the wreckage of a car on a Hartland Quay beach early yersterday (Sunday) is still alive.

The car plunged 200 feet down cliffs onto Well Beach.

The man was airlifted to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple where his condition is described as "serious." The extent of his injuries have not yet been revealed although coastguards said his survival "beggared belief."

Coastguard rescue teams from Hartland and Westward Ho! were alerted at around 5am after police in North Devon raised the alarm.

Two cliffmen were lowered to the site and discovered the man alive in his green car on the beach at around 5.30am.

Lights and equipment were then set up on scene and the local Fire and Rescue Service was alerted. A rescue helicopter was also scrambled to the scene along with an ambulance.

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A winchman was lowered onto the beach from the helicopter and the injured man was flown to hospital.

Swansea Coastguard said they were uncertain as to why the car went over the cliff.

Steve Jones, watch manager, said: "The single occupant was alive when extracted from the car and able to communicate with our rescue team.

"Fortunately the weather was benign this morning which helped the extraction. The car is in no danger of being overtaken by the tide and a plan will be drawn up on how to remove the vehicle from its present position.

Police are urgently asking the member of the public who called in reporting the incident to contact them.

The caller is thought to have used a phone box near Bucks Cross on the A39.

Police would like to speak in confidence to the caller, who is being treated as an important witness.

Anyone with information should call the police on 08452 777444.

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