A 10-YEAR-OLD boy was last night recovering in hospital after suffering serious head injuries in a fall from a cliff.

The boy was on a coach trip visiting Tynemouth Priory, and was climbing on the walls of the monument when he lost his grip. He slid about 60 ft down the side of the cliff before falling a further 25ft.

Crews from Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, paramedics, police and the air ambulance from Blyth were scrambled to the scene at Penball Crag, in King Edward's Bay.

The boy, from Stannington, near Morpeth, was treated at the scene for head and leg injuries before being airlifted to Newcastle General Hospital.

Will Hogg, of Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, said: "There are signs up all around the cliffs and at the priory warning people not to climb on the rocks for this very reason.

"It is extremely dangerous and the boy was extremely lucky not to have been killed."

He said: "It was a very cold day and there was a blizzard blowing on the beach, so he could have been in a lot of trouble if he hadn't been seen by people walking along the top of the cliffs.

"Fortunately, the tide was going out so that took some of the pressure off, because that area would have been covered with water at high tide.

"We were passing in the area at the time so were able to respond very quickly. He has been a very lucky boy."

The boy's condition was last night described as stable.