24 Feb 2010

Men fell 60m from Piha rock, say police

3:19 pm on 24 February 2010

Two men critically injured after falling from Lion Rock at Piha beach, west of Auckland, plummeted more than 60 metres over two cliffs, say police.

The men, aged 18 and 31, fell shortly after midnight from the 101-metre-high rock, landing on rocks.

Five officers are carrying out a scene examination in terrain described as difficult and dangerous.

Police understand the men went to Piha between 11pm on Tuesday and midnight. They have not been able to speak to the pair, who remain in a critical condition.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand says it is clear the men ignored warning signs and safety barriers.

Auckland Regional Council says it has no immediate plans to increase signs on the rock.

Police say they will not enter into speculation about what led to the fall.

But a rescue helicopter pilot says there are suggestions alcohol may have been involved.