RESCUE crews called to Swanage on Wednesday say a man in his 70s fell around 40 feet down a cliff.

As reported, coastguard crews, the air ambulance and police were called to Peveril Point after the man, who lives in New Milton, tripped, stumbled and plunged down the cliff face.

He suffered a serious head injury after falling the equivalent of more than two two-storey houses stacked on top of one another.

Officials from Swanage Coastguard say the incident was "observed by a member of the public who acted fast and called the coastguard and ambulance".

"The 71-year-old man was on a day trip to Swanage from New Milton. He tripped, stumbled, then fell off the cliff, falling abut 35 to 40 feet," the official said.

"The Swanage Coastguard team, coastguard helicopter, paramedics from the South Western Ambulance Service, St Alban's Coastguard team, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Dorset Police attended.

"The various units coordinated a rescue of the man, who suffered a serious head injury.

"He was treated by paramedics, an air ambulance doctor and coastguard team members

"The Coastguard helicopter was used to airlift the casualty to a land ambulance before he was taken to Poole Hospital for treatment."