RESCUERS battled to save the life of a man who suffered a heart attack on a Portland cliff-top.

The 64-year-old was walking with friends on the coast path near Weston this afternoon when he complained of feeling unwell.

Friends raised the alarm when they realised his condition was serious and he was suffering a cardiac arrest. It is understood they attempted CPR before medics arrived and took over.

The incident prompted a major alert involving the ambulance service and coastguards who raced to the area, accessed by a track off Reap Lane.

Both the Portland Coastguard helicopter and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance were scrambled along with land vehicles. The air ambulance brought an A&E doctor.

The man was eventually airlifted to hospital by the air ambulance.

An eyewitness said: “It was very dramatic to see two helicopters on the cliff-top. The coastguard was there first and when the air ambulance arrived it was obvious it was a serious incident.

“There was a lot of activity with ambulance crews dealing with the incident. The casualty was then carried to the waiting air ambulance and flown off to, I presume, Dorchester hospital.

“The personnel were very efficient and we are very lucky to have such rescue crews available here.”

Coastguard Rescue Officers from Portland Bill station went to the scene as well as the coastguard rescue helicopter.

A Portland Coastguard spokesman said: “We went to assist South Western Ambulance with the gentleman.

“The coastguard helicopter arrived around the same time as the land ambulance and took over CPR from the man’s friends. The helicopter has a trained paramedic on board.

“We were on scene for about 45 minutes. The air ambulance took the man to hospital.

“It was good teamwork.”

A South Western Ambulance spokesman said they got a call just after 2pm to a man suffering a cardiac arrest on the coast path. Two ambulances and two ‘rapid response’ paramedic cars went to the scene.