Photos show man risking life by clambering over cliff fall

The man wades into the sea - complete with watering can - to continue along the dangerous stretch of beach. Photo by David Woolley, The man wades into the sea - complete with watering can - to continue along the dangerous stretch of beach. Photo by David Woolley,

Friday, August 8, 2014
9:24 AM

‘It was total lunacy,’ says stunned onlooker

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The man clambers up onto a fresh cliff fall - complete with two trees. Photo by David Woolley,The man clambers up onto a fresh cliff fall - complete with two trees. Photo by David Woolley,

A BEACHGOER is pictured risking his life by clambering over the rubble of a fresh cliff fall on Sidmouth’s dangerous eastern beach – then plunging into the sea.

These shocking images, captured from the safety of the seafront, even show the man clutching a watering can that had come down with part of a garden above.

The crumbling stretch of coast is so perilous that rescuers were scrambled immediately.

Manstone Lane resident David Woolley was watching some FolkWeek morris dancing at Port Royal with a friend on Sunday when he spotted the walker - and reached for his camera.

The man wades into the sea - complete with watering can - to continue along the dangerous stretch of beach. Photo by David Woolley,The man wades into the sea - complete with watering can - to continue along the dangerous stretch of beach. Photo by David Woolley,

“We were waiting for the cliff to fall on his head,” said Mr Woolley.

“He climbed up to the top of the mound, decided it was too dangerous and went around the edge. The tide was 10 feet from the cliffs – there was nowhere for him to go. It was total lunacy.”

Sidmouth Coastguard was called just after noon to reports of three people walking from Salcombe Regis to Sidmouth.

Rescuer Kevin Gosling said: “One person had got to Sidmouth, the other two had turned back.

“That beach is out of bounds – it is a danger to everyone walking along there. The warning notices are just not heeded.”

Mr Gosling said the three people were visiting the town and that a lack of signage at Salcombe Regis was an issue the coastguard was keen to rectify.

“We gave safety advice and sent them on their way,” he added.

A Cliff Road resident, who lost a chunk of her garden last Wednesday, revealed she had been standing just hours earlier on the land that tumbled hundreds of feet to the beach below.

The huge landslide claimed two trees - and her watering can.

“I had been out there in the morning. It was quite a shock,” said the pensioner.She would welcome the return of the watering can.

Sidmouth Lifeboat senior coxswain Phil Shepperd said: “I never stop being shocked at how thoughtless some people can be, on a beach which is so clearly dangerous.”

A district council spokesman said its warning notices complement the National Trust’s own warning signs at Salcombe Regis, adding: “We will visit to review the situation.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Photo Orders
Letters
Competitions
Subscriptions
Join us on Facebook
View or book a notice

Join our newsletter