A MAN in his 40s suffered suspected spinal and pelvis injuries after falling 100ft down an embankment and into a stream.

The man, who was camping with friends, was stuck in the water for around 45 minutes after he slipped while walking on the edge of the stream in Healey Dell Nature Reserve, near Whitworth, at around 10.30pm yesterday.

The Rossendale and Pennine Mountain Rescue Team stretchered the man to safety after being called by the Hazardous Area Response Team ambulance crew who could not gain access to him.

Victoria Wakeman, a member of RPMRT who carried out the dramatic three-hour rescue mission, said the man was ‘lucky to be alive’.

She said: “The man was in considerable pain when we reached him.

“It’s fortunate he didn’t hit a tree on his way down.

“There was also a risk of him getting hyperthermia because of the length of time he was in the stream.

“We sent two vehicles and set up an advanced rope system to allow the casualty to be lifted vertically from the river bed and then pulled to the bank.

“He was then placed on the team's bell stretcher for the carry out of Healey Dell to the waiting ambulance, where he was then treated by paramedics.

“He was then taken to hospital via land ambulance.”