A YOUNG woman was airlifted to hospital after falling around 40 foot down a cliff at a Wigan tombstoning hotspot.
Emergency services were called to East Quarry in Appley Bridge at around 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon after reports a 23-year-old woman had slipped from the top of the cliffs overlooking a lake at the beauty spot.
She is thought to have hit the rocks on the way down before falling into the lake, and she was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken in the Air Ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital with deep cuts to her knee and a possible spinal injury.
Firefighters from Skelmersdale who attended the scene believe the young woman, who was wearing a bathing costume, had gone to the quarry specifically to take part in tombstoning, the extreme sport of jumping from the cliffs into the water.
The incident was witnessed by passers-by, who called for help from the North West Ambulance Service and remained with her until paramedics arrived at the scene.
A crew from Bolton Mountain Rescue, who brought specialist equipment and stretchers, also attended.
The site is well known as a popular haunt for thrill-seekers engaging in the dangerous extreme sport, with several videos on YouTube appearing to show people diving from the cliffs into the lake.
Although the quarry is private land, it is popular with youngsters and thrill seekers, especially during the summer.
Watch manager Phil Garside said: “There’s quite a bit of internet footage, and people come from quite a way around to jump into the water.
“But it’s a 40ft drop and people need to be aware it is very dangerous.
“This young woman has been badly injured and people should be aware of what can happen.
“There are hidden dangers in the quarry.
“From the top of the cliff, it’s so high they have to throw a rock to break the water before they jump.
“Otherwise it’s like jumping on to concrete, and they don’t know the depth of the water or what might be below the surface.
“There were quite a lot of hidden tree branches under the water on the side of the lake where she slipped.
“People need to know that if they are doing this they are putting themselves at serious risk.”