Brighton motorist survives 80ft cliff fall into the sea

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Media captionThe car was removed from the scene by a recovery vehicle, as Victoria Holland reports

A man has survived an 80ft (24m) cliff fall after his car left the road and plunged into the sea near Brighton.

The 33-year-old suffered minor injuries and was able to get out of the Ford Focus and make his way to the rocks.

Newhaven Coastguard said his car had "miraculously" managed to clear the Undercliff promenade after leaving the A259 at Roedean shortly after midnight.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption The car missed the Undercliff promenade and landed on rocks in the sea after leaving the A259 at Roedean

The man was brought up from the beach on a stretcher by emergency teams using specialist cliff rescue equipment.

A coastguard spokesman said: "A second ladder was installed to use as a slipway and the casualty was secured into Newhaven Coastguards rescue stretcher and then using some of our cliff rescue equipment we were able to slide the stretcher up the ladders.

"With nine members of various agencies on the three ropes and two of the Newhaven team at the top of the ladder we were able to bring the casualty up from the beach where he was handed into the care of paramedics."

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption The 33-year-old motorist managed to climb out of his car and suffered only minor injuries

He said a member of the Brighton lifeboat crew who had swum ashore in a dry suit also inspected the vehicle to see if there were any passengers.

Brighton and Newhaven lifeboat crews also searched the sea, while two coastguard teams searched the beach, but there were no other casualties.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption The car was recovered from the rocks and the cause of the incident is under investigation

Sussex Police, the South East Coast Ambulance Service, Newhaven Coastguard and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were among those who also helped rescue the man.

The spokesman said: "With approximately 22 emergency service workers from various agencies as well as two lifeboat crews this was fantastic team work leading to a swift extraction of the casualty."

The car was later recovered and the cause of the incident is under investigation.

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