A MAN was airlifted from rocks to hospital in a dramatic rescue today after plunging 50ft from cliffs.
A search was sparked for the missing man after his concerned partner went to Peterlee Police Station at around 2am.
The force helicopter was scrambled and found the 25-year-old at the bottom of a cliff near Easington Colliery.
An RAF rescue helicopter and coastguards were alerted because the injured man was in a difficult area to access.
The emergency services were also worried because of the rising tide.
Inspector Malcolm Smart, of Peterlee Police, said: “His partner contacted police because she was concerned for his safety.
“We launched a search and the helicopter spotted the male who appeared to be injured.
“We contacted the RAF and coastguard for help because it was difficult to get a safe route down to where he was.
“The man was conscious and shouting to officers that he had hurt his legs.
“We don’t know yet how he ended up on the rocks and are making inquiries.”
The man was winched into the RAF helicopter on a stretcher.
He was flown to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, with head and back injuries at 5am.
Hartlepool’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats took part in the rescue.