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Youngster’s cliff plunge sparks warning

MISSION ... The RNLI lifeboat crew return from rescuing a teenager who fell 60ft from cliffs in South Shields.

MISSION ... The RNLI lifeboat crew return from rescuing a teenager who fell 60ft from cliffs in South Shields.

SAFETY experts are warning youngsters to stay away from South Tyneside’s cliffs during the summer holidays.

The warning comes after a schoolboy, said to be “very lucky to be alive”, fell 60ft from cliffs.

The 15-year-old suffered a badly broken leg after landing on rocks on Frenchman’s Bay in Marsden, South Shields, just before 7pm on Thursday.

Emergency services were alerted after his screams were heard by passers-by.

It’s understood the teenager, possibly fishing before his fall, was due to fly abroad on holiday today with his family.

Adrian Don, a spokesman for Tynemouth’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution station, which sent its inshore lifeboat across the river to assist, said the boy was fortunate not to have been more seriously injured.

Distance

He said: “60ft is quite a distance to fall. In a way, despite his injuries, he was lucky to land on his leg.

“If it had been his head, the situation could have been an awful lot worse.

“I think this youngster is very lucky to be alive.”

A Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland also attended and flew the boy to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment.

As today marks the first day of the school summer holidays, Nick Dolan, the National Trust’s general manager for the Leas, is hoping youngsters will keep themselves safe.

He said: “I am sorry to hear of this incident. We want everyone to enjoy the wonderful stretches of South Tyneside coast.

“Our coastline is beautiful, but it does have its inherent hazards and risks, as any piece of natural coastline does.

“I urge people to heed the warning signs and not climb on rocks, not to cross the clifftop barriers and to be aware of the tides, which can make surfaces slippery.

“Please stay safe this summer.”

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVez

 

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