The alarm was raised shortly after 2.30am when Northumbria Police requested assistance from Humber Coastguard after the man, believed to be in his early twenties, fell from cliffs at Frenchman’s Bay, South Shields, suffering multiple injuries including a number of broken bones.
Both Tynemouth RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats were launched, and raced to the scene. Paramedics and members of the shore-based Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade were also tasked to join police officers already there.
The lifeboats arrived at Frenchman’s Bay just five minutes after launching, with one crew member from the inshore lifeboat wading ashore to assist paramedics who were already treating the man. The all weather lifeboat stood off a short distance from the beach, illuminating the area with searchlights and parachute flares.
Sea conditions were poor with surf making the operation difficult.
It was decided to evacuate the man from the beach by lifeboat and once the man was able to be moved he was placed on a stretcher and carried to the inshore lifeboat, then transferred to the much bigger all weather lifeboat which sped him to a waiting ambulance at South Shields ferry landing where members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade were also waiting to assist with getting the man safely ashore.
Once the casualty was on his way to hospital the lifeboats were stood down by Humber Coastguard, returning to station at 04:45.
Lifeboats: 17-20 Spirit of Northumberland and D-693 Mark Noble