Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Sunday, 6 September 2009 11:38 UK

'Miracle' man survives 200ft fall

Hartland Quay
The airlift rescue was helped by good weather, said coastguards

A driver "miraculously" escaped alive after his car plunged over a 200ft (61m) cliff in north Devon, coastguards have said.

The man was airlifted from the car at Hartland Quay at about 0500 BST by a coastguard helicopter.

He is being treated at North Devon District Hospital. The extent of his injuries has not yet been revealed.

Swansea coastguards said they were uncertain about why the car went over the cliff.

Steve Jones, Watch Manager of Swansea Coastguard said: "It's miraculous that the occupant was found alive in the car and was talking to coastguards.

"It beggars belief. I think he is very lucky to be alive this morning."

Rescuers lowered

Hartland and Westward Ho! Coastguard Rescue Teams found the car on the beach below the cliffs at 0524 BST.

Lights and equipment were set up on scene and the fire service was called to help.

A rescue helicopter was also scrambled along with an ambulance.

Two coastguard cliff rescuers were placed on a line and lowered to the site of the car, where they found a man inside alive.

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

Mr Jones said: "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."

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