Renewed warnings after pensioner gets stuck in mud on Purbeck coast

Warning signs have been placed along the Dorset coastline following several landslips in recent months

Warning signs have been placed along the Dorset coastline following several landslips in recent months

First published in News
Last updated

RENEWED calls have been made over the dangers of landslips as walkers continue to become trapped in mud along the Dorset coastline.

Coastguard officers have asked the public not to ignore warning signs.

Areas of beach sited near landslips have turned into a mix of mud and sand, making it treacherous for walkers.

In the latest incident, a man in his 80s had a lucky escape after becoming stuck.

The pensioner, from Middlesex, walked past warning tape which had been put up after a landslip near Swanage and became trapped on Saturday, coastguards said. He was rescued by two off-duty coastguard officers who spotted him.

A Portland Coastguard spokes-man said: “This was an elderly man who decided to ignore the warnings that were there and proceeded to go where he shouldn’t have gone. The coastguard and local authorities put up tape along coastal areas to advise people it’s not a good idea to proceed any further.

“If members of the public want to, then we can’t stop them, but the tape is there for a purpose and we would like for people to heed the warning. The coastline is extremely fragile and it will remain so for quite some time.

“The warnings are there for the benefit of the public but if they choose to ignore them they are putting themselves at risk.”

The warning is backed by two friends who became trapped in mud, then helped another couple who got stuck.

The two walkers are urging other coastal users to take care after they fell foul of mud neart Lulworth Cove.

Angela Hancock and Laurent Smeets, two surgeons from West Sussex aged in their early 30s, went walking at the east side of Lulworth Cove to take pictures.

They found themselves battling a bog of thick mud and sand twice in one day after Mr Smeets got stuck and then later as they helped to save another pair.

Miss Hancock said Mr Smeets was strong and well used to walking and climbing so was shocked to be caught out.

She said: “The fact he couldn’t get out was the really frightening thing. He started to get cold.”

She said it took about half an hour to pull him out using a belt as a rope.

The pair went back to their B& B to change before going out again.

Miss Hancock said: “We made it up on the cliff to the east of the cove on our way to Mupe Bay, only to look down just in time to watch a woman on the beach walk straight into the bog too, followed by the man who was with her.

“They became completely stuck. Laurent went down to them and this time it was his turn to be the rescuer.”
n newsdesk@dorsetecho.co.uk

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