Woman driver just inches from clifftop disaster

Rescue workers on the cliff face at North Landing in Flamborough. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Rescue workers on the cliff face at North Landing in Flamborough. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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A WOMAN was airlifted to hospital with multiple injuries after her car plunged through a clifftop barrier and stopped only inches before the edge of a sheer drop.

The 32-year-old woman is thought to have driven a silver BMW car through railings, before careering down the cliff face at North Landing in Flamborough, East Yorkshire, on Tuesday evening.

The car travelled down the steep grassy bank from the council-owned car park at North Landing, and came to a stop just before the cliff edge.

Humberside Police were called at 6.10pm and notified the Humber Coastguard.

A coastguard search and rescue team, firefighters, the ambulance service and a response paramedic all attended the scene along with the search and rescue helicopter from RAF Leconfield and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The car was secured by emergency services perilously close to the drop, and the driver was freed from the car by fire crews.

Bridlington lifeboat was also launched and waited on standby, as there was a danger the car could have dropped over the cliff into the water.

The woman, who had suffered injuries to her hip, leg and pelvis, was then taken to Hull Royal Infirmary by the RAF rescue helicopter – and was kept in hospital overnight for observation.

It is not known how the incident occurred.

Members of the coastguard search and rescue team, who were amongst the first on scene and returned to base at nearly midnight, praised the co-operation between the emergency services in freeing the woman and transporting her to hospital.

Nigel Atkinson, a crewmember of Flamborough Lifeboat, said: “When we got there, there was nothing we could do.”

Mr Atkinson added: “There are railings up there but I think they are few and far between. I did hear she went through the railings, but they are a bit hit and miss.

“The only thing I can think of is that she put her foot on the throttle instead of the brake but that’s only speculation.

“She was very lucky because there was another 40ft or 50ft drop just in front of where the car stopped.”

Last year a 35-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital after her Fiat Punto rolled about 150ft down the cliffside at nearby Thornwick Bay.

Bridlington coastguard search and rescue team have also warned dog walkers to keep dogs on a lead when walking near cliffs, after receiving a spate of recent calls.

Earlier this week a 10-month collie fell over cliffs at Sewerby, near Bridlington. It was said to be lucky to have survived after getting away with just cuts and bruises.

That fall occurred despite signs being put up by East Riding Council in the area after a dog died in a cliff fall in February.