A quick-thinking window cleaner has been praised for his actions when the Beer coast path crumbled beneath the feet of an elderly man.

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The stricken pensioner fell three metres from the ‘notoriously unstable’ Old Beer Road, but his rescuer managed to secure him with a rope until emergency crews arrived.

Helicopter, coastguard and ambulance teams recovered the unharmed 88-year-old with the aid of the window cleaner’s ladder at around 4.40pm last Monday. “It’s lucky he didn’t fall any further down – he was a very lucky gentleman,” said Beer Coastguard Terry Hoare. “It must’ve been quite scary but he was fine.”

He said the man, who lived close by and had been looking out to sea, was checked over by a paramedic and taken home.

The coastguard has advised everybody to stay away from the area as it is ‘obviously a very unstable area of cliff’.

Police have fenced off the scene, and also on the Chine and at Seaton Hole to prevent members of the public walking on the beach below.

Old Beer Road was closed after a land slip during heavy rainfall in July 2012 and the South West Coast Path was subsequently diverted.

The route is fenced off, but Terry said even when they were there a man had climbed over the fence to take the shortcut.

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