Woman dies after South Shields cliffs fall

A woman has died after falling from cliffs in South Tyneside.
The clifftop scene at MarsdenThe clifftop scene at Marsden
The clifftop scene at Marsden

A woman has died after falling from cliffs in South Tyneside on Sunday.

The tragedy happened after police received a call at 3.31pm expressing concern for a woman on the wrong side of the barriers next to the Marsden Grotto in South Shields.

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Police, fire and coastguard services – including a helicopter – attended and tried to speak to the woman, however, she fell from the cliffs and into the sea.

She was recovered from the water and Tynemouth RNLI’s crew, along with South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade (SSVLB), brought her round to South Shields ferry landing where an ambulance was waiting.

Despite paramedics best efforts she was pronounced dead.

A spokesman from Northumbria Police said: “Inquiries are ongoing into her death. Her identity is not yet known at this stage.”

Adrian Don, from Tynemouth RNLI, said: “When we arrived, at the same time as Sunderland coastguard, the woman was underneath the cliffs.

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“The emergency services were giving her CPR and the decision was made to transfer her to our all weather lifeboat.

“We then took her round to South Shields ferry landing, during this time she was still being resuscitated.

“She was then taken to hospital.

“It was rather tricky getting the lifeboat onto the beach to retrieve the woman as there was quite a bit of surf.

“Our helmsman Mark ‘Charlie’ Charlton did a brilliant job.”

Adrian added: “Our thoughts are with the lady’s family during this very upsetting time.”

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Tom Fennelly, honorary secretary of SSVLB, said: “We assisted with bringing the lady round to South Shields ferry landing, before she was taken away to hospital.”

The tragedy came as a campaign group is bidding to set up extra security on the cliff tops.

Called ‘Cliff Angels South Shields’, the online group has more than 3,600 Facebook members.

The group was launched by Kirk Wilson after the death of teenager Chirelle Calder, from Whiteleas, who fell from the cliffs in August.

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The father-of-two’s idea is to have a bus parked up along the coast which people will be able to visit if they are feeling upset or vulnerable.

The bus will be staffed with volunteers.

Mr Wilson, from South Shields, has already met with officials from South Tyneside Council and the National Trust and is now on a mission to raise enough cash to make his dream a reality.