Sussex

Beachy Head base jumper 'crashed into cliffs'

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Media captionA base jumper leaps from Beachy Head cliffs to help his injured friend

Base jumpers who flung themselves off Beachy Head have been criticised by an MP after a thrillseeker went over the edge and injured himself, sparking an emergency rescue.

Emergency teams were called to the beauty spot in East Sussex at about 14:50 GMT by a member of the public.

A video circulated online on Sunday apparently showing a jumper going to the aid of his injured friend.

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said the man could have been killed.

He said base jumping at the notorious suicide spot was "beyond the pale".

Witnesses claimed the man had crashed into the rocks, injuring his hip and then plummeted to the beach below.

Coastguards said the man was flown to Brighton by helicopter and then taken by ambulance to hospital.

Image caption Signs warning people of the dangers of the cliffs are displayed at Beachy Head

Mr Lloyd said the RNLI every year had the "desperate task of recovering bodies of those pained individuals who have jumped over the cliffs".

He said: "I'm absolutely disgusted at the immature behaviour of these individuals, particularly around such a site as Beachy Head which sadly is sometimes used by people wishing to end their lives."

Adding that he hoped the accident would deter others, Mr Lloyd said there had been talks about fencing off the area but it had not been possible.

He said he was keeping an open mind about whether he would support fines for those who ventured too near the edge.

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokeswoman said: "Any activity that brings people into close proximity with the cliff edge or cliff face carries extremely high risk.

"This applies to everyone, whether simply walking in the area or involved in other leisure pursuits and sports."

She said people should use common sense and adhere to warning signs.

"Although we cannot stop people climbing cliffs or going near the edge, our advice is to stay well clear," she added.

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