Whitby Gazette – Abseiler dies in cliff fall (police are appealing for witnesses)

This article first appeared in the Whitby Gazette Online on 21st July 2014.  You can link to the article in the Whitby Gazette online here. The text follows:

A man has died after falling from cliffs at Kettleness near Whitby on Friday morning.

The 51-year-old victim, who police say was from the Cleveland area, was abseiling down the 375ft high cliffs at around 10.40am when he fell.

Reports locally suggested the two men involved had been hunting for Whitby jet, although this has not yet been confirmed by police.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Steve Smith, said: “This is a tragic incident involving two climbers who appear to have got into difficulty, resulting in the death of one of them.

“A full investigation is underway to establish exactly what happened.

“The family of the dead man are being supported by specially trained officers at this time.”

One man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

The emergency services were called at around 11.20pm on Friday, to reports that a climber had fallen from a cliff at Kettleness Point near Runswick Bay.

The injured man, was airlifted by RAF Sea King helicopter to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough where he was pronounced dead.

A friend who was at the scene was unhurt and a spokesperson for Whitby coastguard, who attended the incident and cared for the second man, said: “He just said his friend was going down the cliff and they had tied this rope round a rock. But it moved and down he went.”

The man was later rushed to hospital by Staithes Coastguard after suffering from shock.

North Yorkshire Police are carrying out a full investigation into the incident to determine the exact circumstances which led to the man falling to his death.

They are appealing for walkers who were in the Kettleness and Runswick Bay area on Friday July 18 to contact them as part of an investigation into the man’s death.

The area is popular with walkers and the Cleveland Way goes through the village of Kettleness. Anyone passing through at the time may have vital information which could help the investigation. It is believed that at least two walkers were seen in the area around the time the incident happened, we are appealing for them to come forward.

Anyone who was in the area the time, even if you believe your information is insignificant, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Scarborough CID.

Please quote reference 12140119069 when passing on information.

North Yorkshire Police, Staithes and Whitby coastguard and Runswick Bay Rescue Boat attended the incident.

Photographs from the Whitby Gazette (credited to Dag Kjelldahl) follow: