Call for extra seafront safety measures after car goes over cliffs in South Shields

Fresh calls for immediate safety improvements have been made after a man was seriously injured when a car went over cliffs at South Shields.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 8:01 am
Emergency services retrieve a car after it went over cliffs at Frenchman's Bay, South Shields.

The man remains in hospital after emergency services were called to Frenchman’s Bay, on the Leas at South Shields, at 7.30am on Sunday.

The injured man was pulled from the vehicle by a lifeboat crew who swam to rescue him from rocks.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he is believed to be suffering severe but not life-threatening injuries.

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Jean Costello would like to see extra safety measures along the cliffs at South Shields

Northumbria Police said inquiries into the incident were ongoing.

Campaigner Jean Costello, 55, says more must be done to improve safety measures along the cliffs.

She said: “Whenever something happens at the cliffs, it’s suggested that something is done.

“People need to get their heads together to get preventable measures in place, but I don’t know if anything will ever be done.”

Jean’s son Stephen Heslop, 22, died after his car went over cliffs at the Marsden Grotto in December 2007.

She hopes the relevant authorities will consider extra safety measures at the cliffs, even if they are considered expensive.

She added: “Maybe safety netting could be put along the cliffs.

“I don’t know if safety nets are too expensive. It may cost money to have netting put in place, but it would help.

“People don’t realise how strongly you feel about the issue of safety until you lose someone.

“I think all the authorities involved should be thinking about what can be done.

“I heard about this latest incident, these things always turn my stomach.”

Emergency teams involved in Sunday’s rescue operation included police, firefighters, paramedics, the coastguard, and volunteer life brigades.

South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade said they had been called out to Frenchmans Bay, after a report of a car over the cliff. “Team members arrived and ensured all other services stayed in a safe position. The inshore lifeboat was able to reach the vehicle and remove the injured person.”