Elderly woman rescued in cliff drama

AN elderly woman was winched to safety by a helicopter crew at the weekend after falling and injuring her ankle while taking her dog for a walk along a north Suffolk cliff-top path.

AN elderly woman was winched to safety by a helicopter crew after falling and injuring her ankle while taking her dog for a walk along a north Suffolk cliff-top path.

The drama began shortly after 4pm on Saturday when the woman, who is not being named, was walking along the paths close to the Links Road area of Lowestoft north beach.

She fell and could not move after twisting her ankle and the coastguards were informed who alerted the emergency services.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were quickly on the scene but had difficulty in getting the woman safely to the main road at the top of the cliffs.


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A spokesman for Great Yarmouth coastguards, who co-ordinated the rescue operation, said: "Because the injured woman was elderly it was decided not to take any risks at all and the rescue helicopter was called for."

The air-sea rescue helicopter based at Wattisham Airfield, near Needham Market, was called at 4.20pm and within minutes was in the air and heading for north Suffolk.

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Winch operator Sergeant David Watson said: "The lady had been walking her dog along the paths near the cliffs when slipped and injured her ankle.

"The coastguards, fire service and police were in attendance but because the paths are so steep and were slippery it was felt the safest option was to call us."

Winchman Sergeant Chris Scurr was lowered to assist the rescue operation and he was able to help both the woman and a paramedic into the hospital.

"It was a relatively straight forward operation to winch the woman and the paramedic on board the helicopter but it would have been quite hazardous trying to get her out by stretcher using the cliff paths," said Sgt Watson.

The woman was taken by helicopter to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston where she was treated for an injured ankle.

It is not believed her injuries are serious.

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david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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