Police officers use belts to make improvised hoist in Northfleet cliff rescue

In a Northfleet cliff rescue, quick thinking officers turned their belts into an improvised hoist to rescue a distressed man who was stranded in a Northfleet quarry.

The officers, who were in the area, attended the disused quarry off Pier Road at around 6pm on Saturday 21 March 2020 after the Force Control Room received concerns that a man intended to cause himself serious harm.

The constables, from the North Kent Local Policing Team, went on to find the man hanging on to the side of a cliff with an estimated drop of 50 feet.

Three of the officers climbed to the top and assured him he would be brought to safety. They then removed their belts and linked them together before one of the constables leaned over the cliff to lower it to the man while his colleagues anchored him.

The fourth officer stood at the bottom of the cliff, ready to provide immediate first aid should the man fall.

The improvised hoist was enough to hold on to the man but was not sufficient to pull him to safety. At this point, one of the attending officers ran to a nearby address and was able to obtain a piece of rope from a resident which was then used to pull the man to safety.

The man was subsequently handed into the care of medical professionals.

The rescue took around five minutes to complete and Kent Fire and Rescue Service, who were called, provided a prompt response and arrived at the same moment the man had been brought to safety.

Chief Inspector Neil Loudon, Kent Police’s District Commander for North Kent, said: ‘The outstanding work of these officers doubtlessly saved the life of a vulnerable man who was in serious danger.

‘In what was a distressing situation, they remained calm and used their initiative to quickly stop an unpredictable incident turning into a tragic one. I am exceptionally proud of their work, they are a credit to Kent Police and the communities they serve.’


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