Dicing with death: Youngsters risk tragedy by sitting under unstable Sidmouth cliffs
PUBLISHED: 12:12 29 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:12 29 March 2016
Photos show beach-goers ignoring the warning signs and venturing onto dangerous stretch
Brazen beach-goers risk life and limb by ignoring the warnings and venturing onto Sidmouth’s dangerous eastern beach - with some even climbing up the extremely unstable cliffs.
A pair of youngsters are seen sitting under the crumbling, 100ft red sandstone face, just yards from where tonnes of rock hang precariously over a void.
Scores of fallen boulders failed to deter others from clambering onto the beleagured stretch - where potentially deadly landslides happen on a regular basis - on Good Friday as some rare sunshine attracted hordes of visitors to the town.
Herald chief photographer Simon Horn could not believe his eyes when he spotted numerous people risking an Easter tragedy for the sake of a stroll along the troubled piece of coastline.
Emergency services, such as the police and Sidmouth Lifeboat, have long warned that death or serious injury would be inevitable if a cliff fall occurs while people are walking along the eastern beach.
A spokeswoman for East Devon District Council, which has erected warning signs to deter beach-goers, said the authority is ‘ever mindful’ of its responsibility to the public, so they can enjoy the coastline safely.
She added: “We therefore strongly recommend that people do not walk along east beach due to the ever present risk of cliff falls and the danger of becoming trapped by the incoming tide.
“We maintain steps at the western end to assist people in escaping east beach safely and we’re working with the National Trust, which owns the majority of east beach, to improve the signage at the eastern end.”