A man suffered serious head injuries after falling 15ft from a wall near Portsmouth Harbour station early today.
He fell onto hard sand through a gap between the railway line and the road, close to the taxi rank at The Hard, Portsea.
The man, aged 26, was knocked unconscious by the fall and suffered injuries to his head and back.
Four fire engines, including an aerial ladder platform, were called to the scene at about 2.40am.
Dave Stephens, watch manager at Southsea fire station, said: ‘Unfortunately he had fallen down from the road and it was on to sand because the tide was out.
‘We rescued him in conjunction with the ambulance service because he had potential spinal injuries.
‘It was about a 15ft drop on to quite a hard surface.
‘He wasn’t stuck in the mud and we had to rescue him using rope lines. We used our aerial ladder platform.
‘He was certainly unconscious or very difficult to arouse.
‘We went for a spinal board and lifted him to safety.
‘The ambulance took him to Queen Alexandra Hospital.’
The aerial platform was used as it would have been a 100m walk for the firefighters to get out on to the sand.
It took about 20 minutes to rescue the man.
It is not yet known how he fell from the wall.
Police confirmed they were first on the scene at 2.36am after being called by the 26-year-old man’s friends.
The group had been out drinking.
The man, who is not thought to be local, was sitting on the wall when he fell backwards.
A police spokeswoman said: ‘The man was not responding but was breathing.
‘Friends were shouting at him but there was no response
‘A police officer got some rope and climbed down to be with him.
‘The man was put on to a spinal board and left the scene at 3.22am.’
He was taken by ambulance to Queen Alexandra Hospital, but was transferred to Southampton General Hospital’s neurological unit at about 6am.
Police said he had suffered serious head injuries in the fall.