Onlookers’ disbelief at people on danger Sidmouth beach

Pictures of those ignoring the warning signs.

Pictures of those ignoring the warning signs. - Credit: Archant

Fearful onlookers could not believe their eyes when yet more people ignored the warning signs and ventured on to Sidmouth’s dangerous East Beach.

Pictures of those ignoring the warning signs.

Pictures of those ignoring the warning signs. - Credit: Archant

Several groups of - one ‘with a small child’ - were spotted walking near the base of the crumbling cliffs last weekend.

Passer-by Vanessa Ackford photographed some of them and said: “I couldn’t believe they ignored the warning signs. I actually went to check to make sure they were still there - my concern was that if anything happened it would be the emergency services who would be left to pick up the pieces.”

Louise Latham, whose boyfriend David Benfield took a picture of a separate group, said: “The fact there was a small child there was what was the most disturbing. We as adults are responsible for ourselves and can react if we need to run. However, in these circumstances you do not even get that choice if there is a cliff fall. People need to be responsible and most certainly not put children at risk.”

The pictures were posted on the Herald’s Facebook page, with social media users branding the beachgoers as ‘mad’, ‘crazy’ and ‘foolish’.

Pictures captured of those ignoring the warning signs.

Pictures captured of those ignoring the warning signs. - Credit: Archant


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A spokeswoman for East Devon District Council (EDDC), which recently erected new warning signs, said landslides were unpredictable events, occurring without warning, potentially causing serious injury or death. She added that people should stay well clear of the cliff base and to keep an eye out for fresh fall material or running water, indicating an area has weakened or become loose.

Guy Russell, Sidmouth Lifeboat’s senior coxswain, said: “Warning signs are in place for a reason. Please take note of them and do not enter areas where they are in place. Check the tides and do not put yourself at risk.”

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Guy said people should also remember to stay safe when walking on cliff-tops or the coastal path and should respect the fences and not climb over them.

“The beaches and cliffs must be enjoyed, but also respected,” he added.

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