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 until the alarm was raised after he slipped while walking close to the edge of the stream at a nature reserve at around 10.30pm on Friday.

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 in Healey Dell Nature Reserve, near Whitworth, said the man was ‘lucky to be alive’.

She said: “The man was in considerable pain when we reached him. He had suspected spinal and pelvis injuries.

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

“There was also a risk of him getting hypothermia 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.”

A spokeswoman for North West Ambulance Service said the patient was stable with a back injury and was taken to Salford Roya Hospital.