STORM LATEST: Public warned to stay away from dangerous cliffs

STORM LATEST: Public warned to stay away from dangerous cliffs

STORM LATEST: Public warned to stay away from dangerous cliffs

First published in News

MEMBERS of the public have been urged to stay away from cliffs in the event of more landslips.

A massive landslip caused 400 tonnes of rock to crash onto East Beach at West Bay on Saturday.

This was followed by two other cliff falls near Burton Bradstock and Eype.

Mark Rodaway, rescue co-ordination centre manager at Portland Coastguard, pictured, said: “It’s testament to how well Dorset has come together that we’ve seen no major loss of life on the coast.

Mr Rodaway said it was ‘quite likely’ similar events will occur again following the recent storms.

He said: “We’ve put out a number of signs warning people of the most vulnerable places.”

Mr Rodaway appealed to everybody to heed warning signs, stating they were there for a reason.

“Sadly, there are one or two individuals, no matter how much warning you give, they will ignore them. Then of course they put themselves at risk and I then need to deploy my coastguards into harm’s way.”

Mr Rodaway hopes parents will keep a ‘very close eye’ on their children this half-term break.

He added: “We’ll have coastguards deployed in very vulnerable areas as often as we can to monitor the situation.

Richard Edmonds, earth science manager at Dorset County Council’s Jurassic Coast Team, suggested coastal erosion was inevitable.

He said: “Most people think erosion is a terrible thing, but that’s why the coast is here.

“The sea will eventually win. It might not be for 100 years, but there will come a point where it will no longer be possible to stop this from happening.”

  • County council emergency planning officer Simon Parker said: “Dorset is a wonderful county with lots of great attractions and beauty spots, and there is always plenty to do.

“We just want to make sure that people stay safe while they are enjoying the half-term break.

“Several people were spotted standing on the edge and at the base of cliffs, as well as climbing over debris on some of Dorset’s beaches this weekend. We cannot stress enough the danger people are putting themselves, and rescuers, in.

“As we have seen in the last 48 hours, landslides and rock falls can happen quickly and without warning.”

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