NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Emergency crews were able to conduct a dramatic rescue after being called to Newport’s famed Cliff Walk Thursday afternoon.
According to the fire department’s incident report, the call first came in around 12:30 p.m.
When crews arrived they found a 57-year-old man from Medfield on the rocks, partially in the water.
According to the report, emergency responders called for a helicopter to take the man to Rhode Island Hospital and police and Salve Regina University security staff began securing the landing zone.
“I’m just hoping the man’s okay, I was told he was an older gentleman,” said eyewitness Don Larsen of Revere, Mass.
Larsen described that emergency crews blocked off the area during rescue efforts. “My wife and I were walking just a little bit beyond the work area and there was a yellow rope telling us not to proceed,” he said.
Salve Regina University student Sean Nagy also witnessed the incident. “Supposedly where he fell, if I know the area correctly, it’s very steep, very rocky, and very thick with weeds. It’s definitely not an easy fall.”
Events leading up to the fall aren’t clear.
According to police, the victim stated he had in fact jumped from the cliff on his own and had not fallen.
Back in 2000, a Brooklyn woman fell off the Cliff Walk and was paralyzed.
In 2008, a woman fell 50 feet in the same area and wound up a coma.
“If you’re not careful it’s definitely dangerous. Even with the 40 steps when we climb down, you know, you fall, you hit jagged rocks,” said Nagy.