'I feel like I've cheated death': Tourist survives 110ft fall from cliff path

  • Video report from ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

A tourist who slipped while walking along a cliff path in Dorset and fell 110ft has told ITV News Meridian he feels like he's cheated death.

Alex Tridico was walking near Swanage and miraculously survived the sheer drop with just minor injuries, only because it happened to be high tide when he plunged over the cliff edge.

Just three days after falling off the cliff, Alex is up and about in Poole hospital. It was Saturday afternoon when the RNLI were rushed to what is normally a fatality. 

  • Alex describes the moment he lost his footing

Alex had been walking on the cliff top with friends when he slipped. 

He said: "When I slipped and I knew there was nothing near me to grab or to hold on to my first thought was: 'this is it, that's where I'm going to die.'" 

"The split moment decision I had was just to push myself further away as I could."

Alex being tended to by kayakers as RNLI arrive Credit: Swanage RNLI

Pushing himself away from the cliff meant Alex landed in the water.

And quite quickly Kyle Prosser was on the scene, with the Kayakers he was guiding. 

Kayak Guide, Kyle Prosser, described the moment he got to Alex: "He was conscious, he was breathing, he was talking to me and gave me his name so that was really good".

  • Kayak guide Kyle Prosser on the moment he made it to Alex

"From there I could make a plan to raise the alarm and then get him to the nearest bit of shoreline to make an assessment of the casualty".

The incident was in line of sight of the lifeboat station in Swanage and so the first lifeboat was on scene in under ten minutes

RNLI Helmsman, Daren Tomes, said: "I actually cut all his clothes off to do a full assessment on him thinking there is going to be some massive internal bleeding and there just wasn't and I couldn't believe it".

  • Rescue footage from RNLI Helmsman, Daren Tomes

The Helimed paramedic replied: "We're baffled in the back of the ambulance.  We can't find anything wrong with him at this time".

Alex says he has no memory of what happened from the moment he was falling to the time he was in the ambulance. 

The 110ft high cliff Alex fell from. Credit: ITV News Meridian

He hasn't any recollection of falling or hitting the water.

Dave Turnbull, from the RNLI, says there is a lesson to be learned from this incident: "It's just about being mindful about your surroundings, stay away from cliff edges".

"This time of year they are still dangerous, paths are slippery, there's gusty winds at the moment and it doesn't take much to lose your footing and you might not be quite so lucky".

The RNLI are warning people to stay away from cliff edges. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Alex suffered just three broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

He should be on his way home in a few days, but first he had this message for the people who helped him. 

"I can appreciate that I would not be here without them and, so yes, thank you".

Alex is raising money for the people who saved his life and people can donate here.