FIRE crews had to race against the incoming tide to rescue a man stuck in the mud in the River Taw after falling 30 feet from Barnstaple Long Bridge in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victim, said to be a 25-year-old local man, was pulled to safety by a specialist fire crew from Barnstaple using dry suits and a special stretcher capable of sliding over the mud.

He was taken to the North Devon District Hospital, where he was said on Monday to be in a stable condition.

Fire appliances from Barnstaple and Braunton went to the scene after a call from police at around 3.15am. Police and paramedics were also in attendance.