Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Angler killed as cliff collapses

Newbiggen cliff rescue attempt
Rescuers tried to reach the man. Picture John Tuttiett.

An angler has died after the cliff face he was standing on collapsed due to icy conditions in Northumberland.

The man, who has not yet been named, was fishing from the cliff top at Sandy Bay, near Newbiggin, on Wednesday.

He fell about 50ft (15.2 metres) to the shore below and was buried under rocks and rubble.

He was pronounced dead by coastguard and paramedics, but bad weather prevented emergency services recovering the man's body until conditions eased.

A spokesman for the RNLI in Amble, which was part of a major search operation, said: "Two anglers had been fishing on the cliff top when a section one of the men was standing on gave way.

"The remaining angler was unable to see if his friend had fallen into the sea or been covered by the landslide and immediately called the emergency services.

"Later we were informed by the Coastguard that the casualty had been located on the shore amongst the debris from the landslide."

Extreme snow

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "The body of a man is expected to recovered later, weather conditions permitting.

"He has yet to be formally identified."

More than 50 members of the emergency services together with volunteers, spent three hours attempting to reach the angler.

Extreme snowfalls, ice and high winds are thought to have made the cliff top unstable.

A spokesman for Humber Coastguard said: "Teams on the scene estimate that hundreds of tonnes of mud and rock have come away from the cliff side.

"This makes this an incredibly difficult rescue, made worse by the atrocious weather conditions and limited accessibility to the area."

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