Robbie Newby was just 18 when he suffered life-changing injuries when recreational cliff jumping at a beach in west Cornwall went horribly wrong.
“It was 1995, we had a really hot summer, I was in the sea a lot. I used to go jumping with my friends, you got to know the areas that were safe- I felt like it was limitless, that I could jump off anything.”
During a visit to Prussia Cove, Robbie mistook the landing spot and found himself plunging 50ft from a cliff faced with nothing but rocks below him.
“I remember seeing the rocks below and thinking ‘this is going to hurt’, but I think passed out in mid-air from the shock. The next thing I remember is waking up in the water surrounded by blood.”
Robbie’s friends scrambled into the cove to help him, and he was quickly bundled into a passing motorboat which took him back to the beach.
“I didn’t know how injured I was. I remember hearing the helicopter and thinking ‘thank god’, it felt like it got there so quickly. We were miles away from anywhere to get help, I’m so grateful they were there.”
Robbie suffered a broken pelvis, smashed forehead and broken nose in the fall. He was airlifted to Royal Cornwall Hospital for further medical care. He went through several operations and months of physiotherapy before he could walk again.
“Right across the board from Cornwall Air Ambulance through to the team at Treliske, everyone was amazing. I was incredibly lucky I didn’t die on impact and that so many people were there to help me that day.
The 41-year-old has now backed Cornwall Air Ambulance’s New Heli Appeal to help more people when they get into difficulty in remote parts of the county.
“It’s so important to have this service in Cornwall, it really does save lives. That’s why I want to back the appeal for a new air ambulance helicopter, as it will serve the people of Cornwall for the next 20 years, and just think of how many more lives could be saved in that time.”