A 78 year old man has been rescued after falling 16 feet into a disused canal lock at Loxwood.
The injured man was pulled out of the trench just before 2.30pm today (Thursday, July 14) by the emergency services using a basket stretcher.
The delicate rescue operation took nearly two hours.
He has now been airlifted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex air ambulance accompanied by a helicopter emergency medical service team.
He is believed to have suffered a serious head injury.
The emergency services were alerted shortly before 12.30pm after reports that a man had fallen into a trench at Oakhurst Lane, Loxwood.
First on the scene were Billingshurst firefighters. They were quickly joined by the Crawley rescue tender and members of the fire service technical rescue unit.
Rob Searle, spokesman for the Wey and Arun Canal Trust said the man was a volunteer who had been helping to build the new Jennets Bridge lock on the canal system, just north of Loxwood.
The old lock had been dismantled many years ago, leaving a muddy trench.
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