Cornwall blowhole rescue: Man airlifted to hospital

Coastguard helicopter
Image caption The injured man was taken to Plymouth's Derriford Hospital in a coastguard helicopter

A man is in hospital after falling down part of an 80ft (24m) blowhole on the north coast of Cornwall.

Rescuers had to be lowered into the collapsed sea cave at Trevone, near Padstow.

The rescue operation, which lasted three hours, started at around 17:50 BST on Tuesday after the man's friend called emergency services.

The 56-year-old victim was flown to Plymouth's Derriford Hospital with serious injuries to his head and back.

Image copyright Newquay Coastguard
Image caption Coastguard teams from Padstow and Newquay were called to the incident

A spokesman from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said about 20 people were involved in the "very technical" rescue, which ended at around 21:00.

Padstow Coastguard said the man fell 20ft (6m) into the blowhole.

His friend was rescued after the victim was flown to hospital and two cliff rescuers and an air ambulance paramedic were also winched out.

Local resident Richard Higman has warned people on Facebook against entering the blowhole.

"Please do not climb down the Round Hole at Trevone," he said.

"Unfortunately, someone went down earlier this evening and fell when he was trying to get back up."

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Image copyright Google
Image caption The blowhole at Trevone is known locally as the Round Hole

The blowhole is not fenced off and is close to the South West Coast Path between Padstow and Harlyn Bay.

Phil Davies, senior coastal operations officer, said the coastline can be "very dangerous" but the victim's friend did the right thing by calling for help.

"We always advise people not to attempt to self-rescue in these circumstances," he said. "This man's friend did exactly the right thing by just staying with him while the alarm was raised.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The blowhole, formed by a collapsed sea cave, can be seen on a sloping field above the east side of the beach

Trevone Bay is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A dog died last June after falling into the blowhole, with coastguard teams from Padstow and Newquay called to the incident.

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