Man who allegedly sparked needless rescue operation involving helicopter still awaiting charge decision

The cliffs at Marsden.
The cliffs at Marsden.

Prosecutors have admitted they remain undecided about whether to take action against a man who sparked a 999 clifftop alert in South Tyneside in March with an alleged false fall claim.

Five months on from the Marsden Beach rescue drama, they say they are still considering whether to charge the 36-year-old.

A Coastguard helicopter, Sunderland Coastguard and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade were all scrambled to the scene in March.

The was man flown to hospital but later arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.

Medical experts say his injuries were not consistent with a fall from height.

The man, who has not been named, was released on bail pending further inquiries.

Northumbria Police confirmed a decision on whether to prosecute had yet to be taken over the incident.

The incident happened at 3.50pm on Thursday, March 2.

A spokeswoman said: “We are awaiting a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

At the time, police said they had received a report of concern for the welfare of a man on the beach at Marsden Grotto.

The incident was the third at the cliffs in that area in just 24 hours.

The others involved the death of a 57-year-old man and the rescue of a man who had climbed over protective barriers.

In that incident, a Coastguard team used rope rescue equipment to set up safety lines for two police negotiators to reach a man.

He was persuaded to return to safety and escorted away by police and later assessed by mental health professionals.