Sidmouth beach sees more cliff falls during busy Easter weekend

PUBLISHED: 10:47 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:29 24 April 2019

The fall brought quite a crowd as dust flies up as the cliff crumbles at Jacobs Ladder. Picture: Simon Horn

The fall brought quite a crowd as dust flies up as the cliff crumbles at Jacobs Ladder. Picture: Simon Horn

Simon Horn

Cliff falls occurred on Jacob's Ladder and East Beach during the Easter weekend.

Dust flies up as the cliff crumbles at Jacobs Ladder. Picture: Simon HornDust flies up as the cliff crumbles at Jacobs Ladder. Picture: Simon Horn

Bank holiday crowds were left stunned as rubble crashed down at both ends of Sidmouth beach.

These shots show the moment beachgoers came to a halt and watched the cloud of dust rise up into the air from Jacob's Ladder beach on Easter Sunday.

A shot of the recent cliff fall on East Beach from the sea. Picture: Simon HornA shot of the recent cliff fall on East Beach from the sea. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Lifeboat crewman Guy Russell said cliff falls occurred three or four times over the weekend and issued a reminder about the dangers of being close to the cliffs.

Mr Russell, who also runs Jurassic Paddle Sports on the beach, said: “The beach was heaving this weekend. It was like a midsummer weekend, it was so nice to see so many people down there.

A view of the cliff fall at East Beach from the sea. Picture: Simon HornA view of the cliff fall at East Beach from the sea. Picture: Simon Horn

“It is the same message, whether it comes down to East Beach, Jacobs Ladder or down in Dorset people have to take a second to think.

“I cannot stress enough the dangers of going to East Beach, where people walk down and sit with their books or play with their kids.

A huge mound of rubble where the previous cliff fall occured at East Beach. Picture: Simon HornA huge mound of rubble where the previous cliff fall occured at East Beach. Picture: Simon Horn

“When you go to the beach, in the sea or by the cliffs, take a minute to look and think about is it safe? Where you are going to sit?

“If you are not sure ask a lifeguard, the lifeboat team or us we are happy to give advice.

Photographer Simon Horn shows the difference between the two falls, with the cave now completely hidden. Picture: Simon HornPhotographer Simon Horn shows the difference between the two falls, with the cave now completely hidden. Picture: Simon Horn

“It is about making people aware.”

At the start of the month, beachgoers were warned about the dangers when people were spotted sitting and walking under the precarious East Beach cliffs.

The cliff fall at East Beach was described as a landslide by the photographer. Picture: Mark EburneThe cliff fall at East Beach was described as a landslide by the photographer. Picture: Mark Eburne

During the weekend, a landslide occurred on East Beach with new rubble now completely hiding the cave.

Photographer Simon Horn said: “I was kayaking in the week and took the same shot as the cliff does look really unstable there. Over the weekend there was a big rock fall in exactly the same spot and so on Sunday I took the same view, but this time showing the amount of rock that came down. You will also notice the cave in the cliff is completely hidden.”

An East Devon District Council spokesman said: “Jacobs Ladder beach, in common with many other beaches along our coast, sits below cliffs that are a key part of the scenery which attracts visitors to the area and the wider Jurassic Coast. However, the cliffs pose a very real danger and caution must be exercised when visiting them. Rockfalls and landslides are unpredictable events, occurring without warning, and can cause serious injury or death.

“Warning signs can often be found in areas managed by us, but 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 they are all made of soft rock and pose a cliff fall danger.

“We therefore recommend that where possible, you enjoy the cliffs from a distance and do not climb or sit directly beneath them. The Coastguard advises that beach users stay at least the height of the cliff away.”

Read more:

Do not bathe beneath crumbling cliffs - stark warning as sun comes out

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