South Shields boxer in cliff-plunge tragedy

EMERGENCY CREWS ... rescue services at the sacene of the tragedy at Marsden Beach.
EMERGENCY CREWS ... rescue services at the sacene of the tragedy at Marsden Beach.

A TALENTED young boxer from South Tyneside has died in a seafront tragedy.

The body of Dale Lincoln, 21, from Horsley Hill, South Shields, was found at the bottom of cliffs at Marsden, yesterday.

CHAMP ... Dale Lincoln.

CHAMP ... Dale Lincoln.

Emergency services were scrambled to the coast at around 10am after reports that a Citroen car was seen in the water having gone over cliffs near the Grotto pub.

A part of the beach was closed off while investigations were carried out.

His body was transferred by the volunteer lifeboat crew to South Shields ferry landing where they were met by funeral directors.

It is unsure whether the tragedy took place in the early hours of yesterday morning or at some point on Sunday. A report is now being prepared for the coroner.

A section of the beach was sealed off after the tragic find. The car was later lifted from the beach.

Nicknamed ‘The Kid’, Dale was a popular member of Horsley Hill Amateur Boxing Club, who last year defended his Tyne Tees and Wear 57 kilo crown for the third time.

The tragedy has brought back heartbreaking memories for Jean Costello, whose son Stephen Heslop took his own life at the same cliffs on Boxing Day, 2007, a day after being turned away from the Bede Wing mental health unit in South Shields.

He stole a taxi and drove to his death after passing a self-harm assessment by medics at the unit.

Yesterday, she made an emotional visit to the spot where she once stood almost seven years ago distraught to place flowers for Dale.

The grandmother from Auckland Avenue, South Shields, has been vocal over the years for the need for something to be done at the site to prevent tragedies happening.

Ms Costello said: “This has really brought the memories of losing Stephen back. It was the same spot – it’s just so tragic.

“There are too many deaths happening here – someone, somewhere has to take a look at it. I don’t know what can be done, but surely there has to be something.

“My heart goes out to his family – it’s just a tragedy.”

One passer-by said: “I saw the fire engines and ambulances arrive and leave, but I wasn’t sure what was going on.”

Another added: “I was just cycling along and saw all of the fire engines and flashing lights. I was coming from Roker, and saw the coastguard too.”

A spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI said: “We think that the car went over in the early hours of the morning or even at some point yesterday.

“The body was recovered by emergency services and the volunteer lifeboat crew took him to South Shields ferry landing, where they were met by funeral directors.”

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “Police received a report that a car had gone over the cliffs at just after 10am.

“Emergency services were sent to the scene, where the driver of the car was found dead. It is believed to be linked to an earlier report of a missing person from South Shields.

“Officers have informed the next of kin and are providing support to them at this time.

“There is not believed to be any third-party involvement.

“A report is being prepared for the coroner.”

A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 10.05am of a vehicle going over the cliffs at Marsden.

“Our hazardous area response team attended the scene.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazlisa