Lucky escape for drunken teenager in 60ft plunge.
The 18-year-old youth was rescued from undergrowth in Pelaw Woods, Gilesgate, Durham, in a lengthy operation involving fire crews, assisted by paramedics and overseen by police on Wednesday night.
His panic-stricken girlfriend raised the alarm when she knocked at a house in nearby St Giles Close to report the incident shortly before 10pm.
Following initial assessment by paramedics as the teenager lay amid scrubland and rocks at the foot of the ravine, under Pelaw Bridge, firefighters used a winch and pulley system to gradually bring him up the embankment from the ravine. He was further assessed before being taken to Durham's University Hospital of North Durham. Although he was not believed to have suffered any fractures or other major injury he was detained for exploratory X-rays to check there was no internal damage.
A Durham Police spokeswoman said it was described as an apparent "drunken prank".
"Remarkably the injuries do not appear to have been too serious, given the circumstances.
"We got as call from a resident in St Giles Close after she had a hysterical knock at the door from the 17-year-old girlfriend. There was quite a co-ordinated effort to get him up from where he was.
"By around 11.15pm he was on his way to hospital and, after initial assessment, it does not appear he suffered any significant injury."