Woman, 27, is fighting for her life after plunging 20ft onto rocks while trying to observe rare ‘sea sparkle’ caused by plankton in hot weather
- Kirsty Williams-Henry slipped and fell 20ft from pier on to rocks in Port Talbot
- She was standing on the pier to watch rare bioluminescence sparkle in the water
- Took coastguard two hours to rescue the 27-year-old just before tide came in
- She suffered multiple injuries and is now fighting for her life in hospital
A woman is fighting for her life after plunging from a pier while watching bioluminescence turn the water a sparkling blue.
Kirsty Williams-Henry, 27, was waiting to spot the pools of bright blue light at Aberavon beach in Port Talbot, South Wales, when she slipped and fell 20ft onto rocks.
More than 100 people had gathered on the beach on Saturday night to watch the natural phenomena unfold.
Kirsty Williams-Henry, 27, was hoping to spot the pools of bright blue light at Aberavon beach in Port Talbot, South Wales, when she slipped and fell 20ft onto rocks
Scientists believe the phenomenon is the result of plankton being disturbed, causing them to emit light though a complex chemical reaction.
Kirsty was admiring the glow from the breakwater when she lost her footing and plunged onto the rocks below.
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It took coastguard rescue teams two hours to help her in a race against time before the tide came in.
Jules Newton, who called 999 after Kirsty fell said: ‘My sister and I called the emergency services we were a few feet away.
‘She did fall onto rocks. The call handler told us to tell everyone we saw to stay away from the pier until the police arrived.
The plankton emit a blue glow that creates eerie designs in the water and scientists believe it is caused by plankton being disturbed. These pictures were taken at the same beach on Friday
‘Horrific accident my thoughts are with her and her family. The pier is treacherous. I’d avoid and just paddle at the waters edge.’
A spokesman for the coastguard said Port Talbot and Porthcawl coastguard rescue teams both attended the incident.
They were called at 11.04pm and spent around two hours at the scene. A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said they assisted in the rescue of a woman who had fallen approximately 20ft from the pier.
She said: ‘Officers were called to the scene shortly before 11pm alongside the Coastguard and ambulance service.
‘A 27-year-old woman was subsequently taken to the University Hospital of Wales with multiple injuries.’
It took coastguard teams two hours to help her in a race against time before the tide came in
Emergency services are pictured at the pier following her fall on Saturday evening
What is bioluminescence?
Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism.
It occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi and microorganisms such as phytoplankton.
The word comes from the Greek ‘bios’ for living and the Latin ‘lumen’ for light.
Bioluminescence is a type of light energy produced by a chemical reaction.
Brilliant: Photographer Tom Bow said: ‘It’s been spotted at different locations along the South Wales coast in the past week although it’s slightly unpredictable’
Different types of animals use bioluminescence in different ways.
Deep sea squid use it for counter illumination camouflage so they match their environmental light, but Anglefish use it to lure prey with a light-up dangling appendage from their head that draws in smaller fish, which they can eat.
Fireflies use bioluminescence to attract mates by flashing their abdomens, while their larvae use it to repel predators.
Millipedes also glow to put predators off of eating them.
Natural phenomenon: Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. The light is created through a complex chemical reaction
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