VOLUNTEERS from Lyme Regis coastguards and lifeboat crew were among the emergency services involved in a major search operation last night (Monday), after a man from Colyton went missing.
Devon & Cornwall Police appealed for information on the whereabouts of Adrian Carpenter, missing from his home address in Colyton, last night after becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare.
A major search operation was launched, involving 22 officers from Beer and Lyme Regis coastguards, Lyme Regis lifeboat crew, the police helicopter and search and rescue helicopter.
The police helicopter searched the Seaton area throughout the evening, and Lyme Regis and Beer coastguards were then called at 9.32pm after the man’s car was found just off the coast path at Haven Cliff, east of Seaton.
Lyme Regis lifeboat was also requested to carry out an initial search from the sea between the River Axe and Charton Bay.
In addition to their search area they were acting as a comms relay for the search teams as communication is very difficult in the Rousdon landslip area.
An item was located by one of the search teams, but to get the item a full rope rescue set up had to be rigged. The item was recovered and was confirmed by the police that it belonged to the missing male.
A coastguard rope technician was lowered further down the cliff to get to a point where he could see over a ledge. He confirmed that the man was about 60 feet below him and was still alive.
The technician was lowered down to the location in deep undergrowth.
Due to the casualty’s injuries, it was clear coastguards could not get him onto stretcher to haul him up the cliff, so the search and rescue helicopter from St Athan in Wales was requested along with the ambulance service and Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).
Once the helicopter was on scene, a paramedic was lowered to the location and secured the casualty into a harness, winched him out of the undergrowth and up to the clifftop.
The HART team offered treatment before the man was stretchered and carried to the helicopter, which had landed a short distance away.
He was then flown to hospital and all units were stood down at 3.50am.