Base jumper in hospital after parachute fails in 700ft drop along cliffs

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins

A sporting dare that went wrong, which involved a man leaping off Beachy Head has ended up with the 'base-jumper' being airlifted to hospital in Brighton.

Emergency services were scrambled to the scene in East Sussex on Sunday morning.

The casualty was winched to safety by search and rescue teams and was taken to hospital.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: "The Coastguard rescue teams from Eastbourne, Birling Gap and Newhaven, the RNLI lifeboat from Eastbourne, the search and rescue helicopter from Lydd and the South East Coast Ambulance Service attended the scene.

Air ambulance arrives at Beachy Head in East Sussex. Credit: Eddie Mitchell

"The casualty was winched by the search and rescue helicopter and airlifted to Brighton Hospital where they were passed into the care of medical staff."

Thomas Mele from the RNLI said: "One of the witnesses said that his parachute did open but not sufficiently. It caused him to spin and crash into the cliff face, and bounce off it and back into it about four times, and then he was dragged down the cliff face for quite a way, and then onto the bottom of the cliff onto a big grass mound."

The man is not the first person to get injured jumping from Beachy Head, and is predicted not to be the last, as the chalk cliffs are popular with base jumpers, and while the sport is risky, it is not illegal.

The incident failed to deter the group who continued to jump after the man was airlifted away.