This is the heart-stopping moment a motorist was winched to safety after her car careered out of control – and ended up stranded on the side of a 400ft cliff.
The Vauxhall Vectra was spotted precariously clinging to the rock face at a beauty spot in St Agnes, near Newquay, Cornwall, at 9.25am today.
A passing jogger who went to her rescue also became trapped and a major rescue operation was launched by coastguards and firefighters.
Rescue teams secured the vehicle in position with a winch line and scrambled down to release her and place her on a spinal board.
The woman was then airlifted to hospital by a helicopter from RMB Chivenor at around midday but is not thought to be seriously injured.
Coastguards believe the woman – the only occupant of the vehicle – may have been stranded in the car all night.
A spokesman for Falmouth Coastguard said: ”There was no evidence that the accident had just happened and it appears the driver may have been there all night.
”The driver has since been removed from the vehicle, is conscious and is suffering what appear to be only minor injuries and shock.”
The accident happened near a car park and access road to St Agnes Beacon, which rises 625ft above sea level on land owned by the National Trust.
It is not yet known how the car lost control but it had come to rest sideways around 60ft from the top of the cliff.
The airbag had deployed and grey 56-plate car had a smashed front and rear windscreens.
Coastguard teams were deployed from St Agnes and Newquay and a search and rescue helicopter from RMB Chivenor also attended the scene.
Fire and rescue services from nearby Perranporth, Camborne, Truro and Redruth were also mobilised.
A spokesman for Falmouth Coastguard said: ”The vehicle was very damaged and had come to rest on the steepest part of the cliff over a drop of a few hundred feet.
”The vehicle had not fallen all the way down the cliff but was balanced on the edge.
”The situation was very precarious and all of the emergency services worked together to save the woman, who was trapped inside.
”She was conscious through but the situation was dangerous and not very accessible.
”It looks like she may have been there for some time, as she was not easily visible.
”A helicopter was the safest way to remove the woman from the cliff edge.”
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police said: ”The woman has been removed from the vehicle and was moved on to the coastal path.
”She was then taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital by helicopter for observations. It is not thought that she has serious injuries.”