Man survives after car plunges hundreds of feet off cliff

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A man is lucky to be alive after his car plunged hundreds of feet down a cliff in Devon.

It is not clear why the man’s car came off the A39 and fell about 600ft (182m) onto the rocks at Sillery Sands, near Lynmouth in the early hours of Saturday.

But he was able to get himself out of the vehicle and stumble to the nearest property, a spokesperson for South Western Ambulance Service told Sky News.

The ambulance was called from the property just after 7am and the man, aged in his 30s, was later taken by air ambulance to hospital, she added.

No further detail was given about his injuries.

Meanwhile, the RNLI lifeboat was called to the scene just after 9am to check there had been no other casualties.

They reported “rough” and “challenging” conditions with “near gale force” winds and four-metre swells.

A spokesperson said: “Once on scene, volunteer crew could see the badly-damaged car at the foot of the steep cliff at the water line.”

Coastguard and police were also at the scene, and firefighters searched the wreckage of the car to confirm there was nobody else inside.

The RNLI lifeboat searched the coastline for about an hour to make sure there were no other casualties.

Carl Perrin, RNLI volunteer coxswain for Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat, who led the search, said the crew had “performed well” to assist in the search.

He added: “The team have trained extensively to carry out this kind of task and today they used their training and local knowledge to carry out this search with strong winds and a heavy seas making conditions challenging.”

But he had a warning for those who had come to the edge of the water to see what was happening, saying: “There were a number of people gathered around the rocks at the shoreline to observe the rescue.

“In such rough and unpredictable sea conditions, we would remind people to take extra care and to respect the water.”

The incident comes as much of the country was pelted by strong winds.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they had received an “exceptional number of calls” about fallen trees across roads.

(c) Sky News 2019: Man survives after car plunges hundreds of feet off cliff

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