A MAN was airlifted to hospital after falling down a gorge and sparking a major rescue operation.

Emergency services including the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, fire service and the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team rushed to a report that a man had fallen in the boulder field in the bottom of New Wath Scar on Tuesday. 

He had sustained a head injury and was unconscious in the stream.

After initial treatment on the stream bank by paramedics and firefighters, the man was loaded onto a rescue team stretcher, evacuated from the gorge and carried a distance upstream to the waiting Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

He was then flown to definitive medical care.

A rescue team spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with the gentleman and his family.

"In a true multi-services response there were crews from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Yorkshire Hazardous Area Response Team (HART). Yorkshire Air Ambulance, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, North Yorkshire Police and ourselves.

"We had nine team members and three vehicles deployed for three hours."