Investigation underway after man dies in cliff fall at Marsden

An investigation has been launched after a man plunged to his death at a popular South Tyneside beauty spot.

Monday, 14th March 2016, 7:22 am
Updated Monday, 14th March 2016, 2:16 pm

The man died yesterday morning after falling from the coastal cliffs at Marsden, close to the Grotto pub, in South Shields.

Police say they received a report that a man had fallen from the cliffs and into the sea at about 8pm.

Emergency crews at the scene

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Emergency crews called to the scene found the body of the man which was recovered from the beach below.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesman for the Coastguard said they got the call at about 8am to a report of a man having gone over the cliff at Marsden.

The Sunderland Coastguard, the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade and Tynemouth RNLI were all alerted to the incident, along with police and paramedics.

Emergency crews at the scene

The air ambulance was also called to the scene, but was turned back when it became clear it wasn’t needed.

Adrian Don, a spokesman for the Tynemouth RNLI, said paramedics were on the beach below the cliffs and were joined by volunteers from the RNLI who lifted the deceased man onto the lifeboat.

They then sailed around the coast to South Shields beach, where an ambulance was waiting to take the man to hospital.

The Tynemouth RNLI spokesman said: “It was all very sad.

“Saving lives is our main task, but on occasions we go to incidents such as this, and we just try to do things in as respectful a way as possible.”

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said inquiries are ongoing to identify the man and anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 342 13/03/16.

Although police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding this latest death and the cause will be determined by an inquest, the spot at Marsden cliffs has been a notorious suicide spot for decades.

In 2005, in a bid to help prevent people from taking their own lives there, South Tyneside Council, working with The Samaritans, police and National Trust, put up signs at the spot displaying The Samaritans’ number 
and urging people to seek help.

Over the years there have also been many accidental deaths at the spot caused by people losing their balance and falling.

There have also been several cars driven over the edge.