MOUNTAIN rescuers were called out after a 60-year-old man suffered suspected spinal injuries following a cycle crash in the Lake District.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) was called out to the incident at Force Crag Mine at around 6.30pm yesterday.

A KMRT spokesman said a sheep leapt out into the cyclist's path, causing him to crash.

The spokesman said: "Although his helmet saved him from a significant head injury he still sustained severe facial and possible spinal injuries.

"A group of walkers were nearby and raised the alarm.

"One of the walkers was an accident and emergency doctor who carried out a thorough assessment and made sure the spine was protected from movement.

"KMRT were quickly on scene and the medical team provided first aid and pain relief.

"The casualty was placed in a vacuum mattress and stretchered to one of the team vehicles."

The spokesman said helicopter assistance was requested and the casualty was handed-over and airlifted away.

The incident took around two-and-a-half hours for rescue teams to deal with.