A major rescue operation was mounted last night to save a young man who fell from a ledge at Palm Beach.

Around 3.30pm yesterday (Monday, 13 September) a man believed to be aged in his early 20s fell approximately 15m from a ledge at McKay Reserve, off McKay Road, striking his head and losing consciousness for some time.

McKay Reserve Palm Beach

The alarm was raised with NSW Police just after 5.00pm when concerns grew for the whereabouts of the young man. Around 5.30pm, he was located at the base of the cliff in dangerous, rough terrain suffering injuries to his arm and head.

Emergency services including NSW Police, NSW Ambulance units including two Special Operations paramedics and two Inspectors, and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) crews including specialist rescue firefighters from Avalon and Narrabeen Station, mounted a rescue operation at the top of the cliff at road level.

FRNSW appliance at McKay Reserve, Palm Beach

In darkness and difficult terrain, emergency services determined it would not be possible to winch the man out by rescue helicopter because of the extensive tree canopy. NSW Police officers made the steep descent to the injured man on foot while rescue firefighters set up a vortex rope system to allow rescuers to be safely lowered down.

NSW Ambulance Special Operations paramedics were lowered in harnesses to assess the man, who had injuries to his right arm and a laceration to his head. He was given initial treatment to stabilise his condition before being lifted from the base of the cliff in a stokes litter around 8.00pm.

Emergency lighting from FNSW truck at McKay Reserve, Palm Beach

It took around half an hour to lift the man from the base of the cliff and carry him to a waiting NSW Ambulance where paramedics conducted a full assessment of his injuries. He was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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