TWO North Yorkshire police officers have been nominated for their bravery after they used an old fishing rope to descend 100 feet down a sheer cliff to try and rescue a man who had landed on the rocks below.

The incident, which happened on October 10 last year in Scarborough, saw PC Steve Merritt and PC Mandir Xherija administer emergency CPR to the man as the incoming tide began to rush in.

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PC Xherija was the first to respond to a call that an abandoned rucksack and mobile phone had been found on the clifftop.

Given the location, PC Xherija was forced to park his patrol car far away from the scene, but he proceeded to sprint across neighbouring fields to get to the cliff edge as soon as possible.

Once he reached the cliff, he ventured out on a piece of the ridge which jutted out from the cliffside for a better view.

Thanks to this new vantage point he was able to make out what looked like the arm of a person between the rocks.

Mr Xherija then decided to use an old fishing rope embedded in the cliff to lower himself 100 feet down to the ground.

Once he was safely on the ground the officer found the man and began to perform CPR on him.

PC Merritt arrived on the scene at this stage, and also decided to use the fisherman’s rope to scale down the cliff.

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Police say a coastguard helicopter was on the way, while the officers waited for it to arrive, they continued to perform CPR on the man for around an hour and a half in challenging circumstances.

The tide was soon beginning to come in and the surrounding rocks were becoming slippery and hazardous, however the officers continued to perform CPR until the helicopter was able to winch the man to the top of the cliff.

PC Merritt and Xherija were told it was too dangerous to scale the cliff using the old fishing rope so were later winched off the rocks to safety.

According to police, the man unfortunately passed away due to his injuries later that day.

The two police officers have been nominated for a National Police Bravery Award and will attend a ceremony in London in December, where they will be recognised in the presence of senior officials in government and policing.

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If you are in need of support you can contact the following:

- Samaritans ar available, day or night, 365 days of the year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.

- If U Care Share on 0191 387 5661 or text IUCS to 85258

- SANE on 07984 967 708, Calm on 0800 58 58 58

- Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust crisis line 0800 0516 171.

- North Yorkshire County Council mental health support:


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