Do not bathe beneath crumbling cliffs - stark warning as sun comes out
PUBLISHED: 12:40 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 02 April 2019
Beach-goers have once again defied safety warnings by sitting and walking under Sidmouth’s crumbling cliffs.
Photos show people ignoring signs to take selfies and stretch their legs by walking across the dangerous stretch on East Beach at the weekend.
With sunny weather expected to continue and draw crowds to the area’s beaches East Devon District Council have issued a reminder about the unpredictably of rock falls.
A council spokesman said: “East Devon’s cliffs are a key part of the scenery that attracts visitors to the area, however the cliffs pose a very real danger and caution must be exercised when visiting them.
“Rock falls and landslides are unpredictable events, occurring without warning, and can cause serious injury or death.
“Warning signs can be found in areas managed by us.
“The absence of a sign does not indicate there is no risk and you should always take care around the cliffs of East Devon as all are made of soft rock and pose a cliff fall danger.”
Cliff inspections were recently carried out along the coastline in Sidmouth, Beer, Budleigh Salterton and Seaton to remove loose material and install rock netting.
The spokesman added: “It is good practice when on the beach to stay well clear of the cliff base and to keep an eye out for fresh fall material or water running down the cliffs, which may indicate an area that is weakened and loose.
“If in doubt, don’t walk under or near the cliffs.
“The coastguard advises that beach users stay at least the height of the cliff away. For example, if a cliff is 20 metres high, a distance of 20 metres should be kept.
“If a cliff fall does occur and you suspect that someone has been injured, call 999 immediately. Do not explore recent cliff falls as there is a risk of further falls.
“A comprehensive guide to staying safe around beaches and cliffs is available from the coastguard.
“While this work aims to reduce the risk of incidents, we cannot guarantee incidents will not occur at these locations.
“We therefore recommend that where possible, you enjoy the cliffs from a distance and do not climb or sit directly beneath them.”