Shropshire

Bridgnorth man gets bravery award for Cornish cliff rescue

car rescue
Image caption The 56-year-old woman had been trapped in the car for 20 hours

A Shropshire man involved in a cliff rescue has been given a bravery award by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.

Ben Stafford, 35, from Bridgnorth, was on a morning run near Newquay last July when he saw a woman trapped in car above a 300ft (90m) drop.

The woman had been trapped for 20 hours but Mr Stafford said the car was too precariously poised to get her out.

"The last thing I wanted to do was to knock the car off and possibly be dragged down with it," he said.

He stayed with the 56-year-old woman talking about "mundane things" until the emergency services arrived.

'Shocked and surprised'

The operation to get her to safety took several hours and involved teams from St Agnes and Newquay, a rescue helicopter from RMB Chivenor, police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

Mr Stafford, who was born near St Agnes Head, where the rescue took place, was out running with his wife and a friend and said it was only by chance that he saw the car.

"If I had turned around to see the girls I wouldn't have seen the car as it was in a bit of a blind spot," he said.

Des Tidbury, chief fire officer for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: "As the first on the scene of the incident, Ben provided reassurance to the casualty who had been trapped on a cliff edge for around 20 hours.

"He risked his own safety to pass on vital information to 999 control operators about the condition of the driver and stability of the vehicle and then remained with the casualty until emergency crews took over."

Mr Stafford said he was "shocked and surprised" to be given a commendation for bravery, which will be presented on 29 March.

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