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Cyclist airlifted to hospital after hitting bollard during Channel Triathlon in Folkestone

A cyclist was airlifted to hospital after colliding with a bollard at high speed.

The man had been participating in the 2019 Channel Triathlon in Folkestone when he was injured.

The air ambulance over the Folkestone Harbour. Picture: Folkestone Rescue
The air ambulance over the Folkestone Harbour. Picture: Folkestone Rescue

Having completed the swim, those taking part moved onto the cycle section.

But while cycling in Tram Road, one rider hit a bollard at 'high speed' and sustained 'serious leg and lower body injuries'.

Paramedics from Tri Spirit Events, behind the triathlon, were on the scene within minutes and assisted in helping the man.

A land ambulance, the air ambulance and crews from Folkestone Rescue, who were monitoring the race, were also called.

Initially Sunny Sands beach was cleared for the helicopter to land, but it eventually touched down in the Harbour Arm car park.

The cyclist was then airlifted to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

A spokesman for Folkestone Rescue, an independent charity which provides lifeguards and lifeboats, said: "Folkestone Rescue were providing safety for the Channel Triathlon monitoring swim section participants.

"The crew received a call that a participant had sustained serious leg and lower body injuries from colliding with bollards at high speed while cycling along the course at the bottom of Tram Road.

"As the air ambulance had been requested, the crew were asked to clear Sunny Sands to provide a landing site, before the decision was made to land the air ambulance at the Harbour Arm car park instead for better access.

The air ambulance landed in the Harbour Arm's car park. Picture: Alan Langley
The air ambulance landed in the Harbour Arm's car park. Picture: Alan Langley

"Crew then assisted race marshals with slow moving traffic at the incident location, due to the junction being partially obscured by emergency vehicles.

"The casualty was taken a short distance by ambulance to the Harbour Arm, and then to hospital by air ambulance."

A spokeswoman for the air ambulance said: "I can confirm that we were in attendance and our crew arrived on scene at 9.25am where they assisted with the patient, who was then conveyed to hospital by aircraft."

Rich Airey, spokesman for south east coast ambulance, said: "I can confirm we were called to report of an injured cyclist in a at/near a car park on the A260 in Folkestone at approximately 8.50am yesterday.

"Ambulance crews attended the scene and were joined at the scene by the air ambulance service.

"The cyclist was treated at the scene for a leg injury before being airlifted to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford."

The Channel Triathlon was held on Sunday and saw competitors take part in an open water swim, run along the coast and a cycle through Hawkinge and Densole before returning to Folkestone.

It is a charity event organised by Tri Spirit Events on behalf of the Folkestone Channel Rotary Club.

A spokesman for Tri Spirit Events said: "Our paramedics were on the scene within minutes and able to take control. Two members of our team who were spectating the race also helped out and assisted in directing traffic.

"Obviously it was a difficult day but it was managed well by all those who helped."

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