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Audio: Bramble bush 'saved man's life' at Capel cliff

Cliff at Caple, near Dover
Cliff at Caple, near Dover

A man plunged 100ft down a cliff edge – and survived by clinging to a bramble bush.

Rescuers found the walker stranded and holding on for dear life 50ft from the bottom after he managed to call the emergency services.

The man – from Folkestone and aged in his mid 50s – was then pulled to safety from the cliff by a 15-strong team.

He had spent an hour trying to set himself free, before dialing 999 from his mobile.

Our reporter Katie Lamborn spoke to Dover Watch Manager Malcolm Cowie at the scene

The dramatic rescue took place at Capel, near Folkestone, yesterday at a 150ft high cliff between Avendale Road and the Battle of Britain Memorial.

Two fire engines from Dover and Folkestone, a specialist line rescue team from Deal fire station, coastguard teams and an ambulance were alerted just before 4pm.

After spotting the walker, firefighters using specialist rescue equipment abseiled down the cliff face to free him by attaching a harness and winching him to safety.

Dover Watch Manager Malcolm Cowie said: "The man had fallen straight into a bramble bush right on the cliff's edge and became entrapped.

"I believe - despite inflicting a great deal of pain - that the bramble bush saved his live, as it prevented him from falling on to the railway line below.

"If he had fallen any further, he could have been killed or suffered devastating injuries.

"By the time we were called to the scene, the situation was critical.

"The brambles were supporting the man's weight, but it wouldn't have been long before the bush collapsed and the situation worsened.

"He was trapped in a really awkward position and the crews did find it difficult to access him initially, but we managed to rescue him within an hour of being alerted to his plight."

After his ordeal, the man was taken to hospital for treatment. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Do you know the man? If so, contact our newsdesk on 01233 895 816.

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