Rescue services on scene at Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, after two people fell off a cliff. PIcture by Peter Boam.
TWO people were rescued after falling over the cliffs at Freshwater Bay last night (Tuesday).
A man and woman fell from the cliffs near The Albion hotel, shortly before 7pm, sparking a rescue operation that involved the Solent Coastguard and Needles Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team, plus fire, police and ambulance crews.
It was initially believed a car had plummeted over the cliffs, however it emerged that the two people had been walking along a narrow cliff path, when they slipped and fell about 25ft, on to the beach below.
The woman was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with arm, back and chest injuries. The man was assessed by paramedics at the scene, but did not need treatment and was able to drive home.
It is believed the two people involved were married and from Newport.
Ray Morey of the Needles Cliff Rescue Team said: "We were initially told that a car had gone over the edge.
"But we found out that although they had a car, it was still parked at the top of the cliff.
"We think they had walked to the edge of the cliff and it had either given way or they slipped.
"We sent two men down on to the beach and the woman was complaining of leg injuries and chest pains, so we made the decision to call for helicopter support."
Due to the conditions and location, the helicopter was unable to land nearby and so winched a paramedic down to the beach and the woman was transferred to a stretcher and winched up, said Mr Morey.
He estimated that winds were about Force 6 gusting to Force 8, reaching speeds of up to 46mph.
Mr Morey advised people not to go near cliff edges, especially in bad weather.
He said the cliffs at this location reached heights of 50ft, but it was estimated the couple had fallen about 25ft, on to shingle.