Beachgoers warned after huge Sidmouth cliff fall

Frightening sight - onlookers are shocked by the falling cliffs close to The Ham. This dramatic picture was captured by reader Tony Lane. Frightening sight - onlookers are shocked by the falling cliffs close to The Ham. This dramatic picture was captured by reader Tony Lane.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
6:04 AM

TOURISTS and residents have been told once again they are dicing with death by ignoring warnings and venturing onto a dangerous stretch of beach – following another huge cliff fall this week.

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Police say the dramatic landslide close to The Ham on Wednesday should act as a stark message to those who walk onto the pebbles on the eastern seafront.

A concerned officer has spoken of how one couple told him they had been just metres from a previous rock fall.

PC Jim Tyrrell, beat manager for Sidmouth town, wants visitors and residents to be aware of the dangers between Sidmouth and Salcombe Regis.

“It really is becoming somewhat of an issue,” he said.

“Last Wednesday, I was on duty at The Ham and there had just been another cliff fall. About 20 minutes later I spoke to a couple coming off the beach where East Devon District Council (EDDC) has erected notices highlighting the dangers of falling rocks by Alma Bridge.

“The couple in question were not local and had clearly gone onto the beach at their peril, ignoring these notices and the danger of sitting under the cliffs. They stated that they were about 20 metres away from the falling debris. One or both of them could have died.

“With FolkWeek starting today (Friday) it would be a timely reminder to the general public not to go on the beach at the eastern end of Sidmouth towards Salcombe Regis.

“We do not want a repeat incident of what happened at Burton Bradstock in 2012 when a holidaymaker was killed as a result of a cliff fall.”

PC Tyrrell said the substantial landslip on Wednesday afternoon reinforced his point.

Stunned onlooker Tony Lane caught the ‘spectacular’ drama on camera.

“There was a huge rumble,” he said.

“It started with one or two stones falling, and then it all came down in two sections. There was a massive dust cloud.”

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