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Air ambulance and Walmer RNLI called to incident at St Margaret’s Bay – Kent Online

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A man has fallen from a cliff after his parachute failed to open properly.

He was airlifted by coastguard helicopter to the cliff top at St Margaret’s Bay, transferred to an air ambulance and flown to hospital.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “At 12.05pm today HM Coastguard received a call from a member of the public reporting that a person, believed to be a base jumper, had fallen midway down the cliff at St Margaret’s Bay after their parachute had failed to fully open.

Police, the ambulance service and others at the scene
Police, the ambulance service and others at the scene

“The casualty was winched on board the Lydd Coastguard helicopter and was taken to the top of the cliff where he was transferred into the care of the Air Ambulance for onward transfer to hospital.”

The area was sealed off
The area was sealed off

It happened at the section of cliff between the bay and Kingsdown, north of the home formerly owned by songwriter Noel Coward and James Bond author Ian Fleming.

Eyewitnesses say another paraglider, who was there at the time, raised the alarm to people on the beach. It is thought the casualty was laying on or near to rocks at the base of the cliff.

Glen Thompsett with his wife Julie. Picture: Glen Thompsett (6243762)
Glen Thompsett with his wife Julie. Picture: Glen Thompsett (6243762)

One witness, regional TV and radio journalist Glen Thompsett had arrived at the nearby Coastguard pub for a 27th wedding anniversary meal with his wife Julie.

Mr Thompsett, from Hythe, said: “The emergency services were already there when we arrived. We saw the coastguard helicopter hovering in the air and winching up the casualty.

“It all eventually quietened down but it was quite a thing to happen between Christmas and the New Year.”

Emergency vehicles at the scene
Emergency vehicles at the scene

Deal and Langdon Coastguard Rescue Teams, Walmer RNLI inshore lifeboat, Lydd Coastguard helicopter attended.

They worked alongside Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

The area was cordoned off to the public.

A spokesman for SECAmb said: “At 11.57 today we were called to a patient halfway down the cliff at St Margarets Bay after his parachute failed in a base jump.

“We sent our hazardous area response team who have climbing skills to support the efforts also being made by the Coastguard and Police.

“The patient was found conscious and breathing and has been flown by the air ambulance to Kings College Hospital in London for treatment.”

There are no details yet of the scale of the patient’s injuries.

A police spokesman said: “Kent Police was made aware at 12.20pm on Friday, December 28, of a report of a man seen on a cliff in St Margaret’s Bay in Dover.

“Officers are currently at the scene to assist HM Coastguard, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, and the South East Coast Ambulance Service.”

A spokesman for SECAmb said: “A base-jumper’s parachute failed jumping off the cliff. We are on scene along with Coastguard and air ambulance.”

Walmer RNLI crews were called back to the scene at around 1.45pm after those tending to the base jumper were feared to be at risk of being cut off by the tide.

Both the Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and D Class Duggie Rodbard were launched but were not required.

But one vessel was to help a fishing boat with engine problems in a separate incident.

That was towed to Dover Harbour.

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