A 71-year-old man plunged off an 80ft cliff in a car and managed to walk away from the scene.
Police have said they believe the plunge was an accident
Coastguard officers, who winched the man back up the Isle of Wight cliff, said he may have driven over the edge when leaving a cliff-top car park.
The driver suffered head injuries when his Vauxhall Corsa hit the beach on Monday evening.
The cliff has been eroding in places and a police spokesman said the fall appeared to have been an accident.
'Fairly steep drop'
Police have said they believe the driver was heading towards Ventnor on Military Road and no-one else was involved in the accident.
The driver was taken to St Mary's Hospital, in Newport, where a police spokeswoman said he is being kept under observation for a few days.
Brian Taylor, Solent Coastguard watch assistant, said: "He had an injury but managed to walk away from the car.
"It's an 80ft drop and it is a fairly steep drop so that's quite lucky for him to have survived.
"There's a car park and what usually happens is they think they are in reverse and they are actually in first gear and end up going forwards when they think they are going backwards."