Woman ‘fell 180ft’ from Sidmouth cliffs

Cliffs along from Jacob's Ladder. Ref shs 9749-14-13SH

Cliffs along from Jacob's Ladder. Ref shs 9749-14-13SH - Credit: Archant

EMERGENCY services launched a major rescue bid after a woman fell 180 feet from cliffs near Sidmouth’s Jacob’s Ladder.

The 40-year-old was this week fighting for her life in hospital with serious injuries to her spine, leg and pelvis.

Coastguards, police paramedics and Sidmouth Lifeboat were involved in a two-and-a-half-hour operation last Thursday (September 26).

Both the police and Portland Coastguard helicopters were scrambled to the incident.

The woman, from Exeter, had been reported missing to police with concern expressed for her welfare.

Emergency services were sent to the scene at 6.20pm.

Police officers spent time talking to the woman before she fell at around 7.40pm.

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She was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital at 8.50pm by the Portland Coastguard helicopter with serious injuries including suspected spinal, leg and pelvic trauma.

A police spokesman said this week that she was in a ‘stable but critical’ condition.

Paul Driver, deputy station officer for Beer Coastguard, said the rescue operation was ‘very difficult’.

He said the woman initially went down approximately 80 feet of the 200 feet cliffs. She then fell further and was reached by rescuers 20 feet from the base of the cliffs.

Mr Driver added: “The helicopter had a job to get to her – it was very tight in to the cliffs. She was seriously injured.”

Sidmouth Lifeboat was tasked at 7.39pm but weather, wave and surf conditions meant it was not suitable for its crew to recover the woman. It remained on stand-by.