Pokemon Go player blames '˜dangerous' steps and darkness after accident at cliffs
The 20-year-old suffered a suspected broken ankle on cliff steps at Trow Rocks in South Shields, at about 9.20pm on Tuesday. The man was playing the popular mobile phone game which sees players track down virtual Pokemon characters at popular locations. He rang 999 and a range of emergency services, including South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade (SSVLB) attended.
Three hours layer he was taken by ambulance to South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields.
The man has since contacted the Gazette and says no bones were broken and claims the steps by the cliffs are dangerous.
He said: “I was about to walk down the steps. I was playing Pokemon but I wasn’t looking at my phone when I was walking down the steps.
“There was insufficient lighting and I must have stepped in the wrong place because I went over on my ankle and fell down and I couldn’t get back up.”
He added: “I just want to warn people about those steps. They are very dangerous. They’re basically just wooden boards stuck in the ground. Maybe the council could do something about them.”
South Tyneside Council says it is not responsible for the cliffs - they are managed by National Trust. Tom Fennelly, honorary secretary of SSVLB, is now calling for Pokemon Go players to be sensible.
He said: “We will always respond to any call for assistance to incident on and around the coast. In this incident, together with our colleagues from police and fire and ambulance, we were tied up for over three hours dealing with what turned out to be a minor injury. It could have been much worse and I would appeal to Pokemon providers and users to be much more aware of the consequences of their actions.”
Fire chiefs are also urging people to take care.
Group manager Dave Jefferson, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We urge people to be extra careful when taking part in any activities in areas where there is a clear danger, such as cliff tops. Our advice is to always be fully aware of your surroundings and never cross safety barriers or similar equipment that is there to protect you.”
The National Trust was unavailable for comment.