People need to heed warnings about the danger of Sidmouth cliffs

Photo by Tony Green

Photo by Tony Green - Credit: Archant

A warning has been issued that ‘people need to take responsibility for their own safety’ as yet more beachgoers put their lives at risk on Sidmouth’s dangerous east beach.

Pictures taken by resident Tony Green show a couple walking below the cliffs near Pennington Point - despite warning notices - and even climbing up the notoriously perilous cliff face.

“It is very difficult to miss the various warning signs,” said Mr Green, who took the photos using a telescopic lens from the safety of the river mouth.

“I was surprised to see them down there. You wonder about the rationality of people who put themselves at risk like that.”

He added: “We must not be too harsh on people who do not realise, but I thought the signs would be enough. You wonder how it is possible for them to ignore them.”

East Devon District Council’s safety strategy is to position signs warning people of the danger at key points near the cliffs and beach.

A council spokesman said: “At some point people need to take responsibility for their own safety and to heed these warning signs, in the same way they would be expected to do about advice not to enter a field with a bull in it.”

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He added that the beach at Pennington Point cannot be closed to members of the public, as the shore beneath the cliffs is of mixed ownership.

Sidmouth Lifeboat senior coxswain Phil Shepperd said: “At this time of the year especially, the cliffs are very unstable and we would advise people to stay away from that beach.”