EMERGENCY Services came to the rescue of a 45-year-old man yesterday, after he fell five metres whilst on a hiking trip down the Torrent des Cable ravine near Port des Canonge.

The accident victim had been walking in the ravine which runs from Valldemossa to Port des Canonge with a group of friends. The group was well-equipped to make the trip but about noon, in the lower part of the ravine away from the main footpath, the man fell some five metres down a rocky outcrop.

He sustained a strong blow to the head and possibly fractured ribs. The man's companions raised the alarm and the Balearic SEIB 112 mountain rescue emergency services responded immediately. They were joined by Guardia Civil and Majorcan Fire Service officers, Local Police, Health Service and Civil Defence representatives, and an Emergency department helicopter.

On reaching the scene, paramedics gave the victim First Aid and he was placed on a stretcher. The victim was conscious and complaining of strong pain in his ribs and a blow to the head.

The helicopter located the scene of the accident and a decision was made to evacuate the man by air in order to save time. Otherwise, fire service officers would have had to execute a lengthy, and difficult, overground rescue right to the bottom of the ravine.

The helicopter flew the victim to the General Asensio air base in Palma where an ambulance was waiting. From there, the man was ferried to hospital where an assessment was made of his medical condition and how much injury he had in fact sustained.

Walkers are warned that they should be fully prepared when going on outings down the ravines, or Torrents on Majorca. The inexperienced can get lost or fail to take sufficient water with them.