A group of young climbers were put in ‘serious’ danger when a fridge was thrown over a cliff on Portland.

The incident took place near to Reap Lane in Southwell at the ‘Battleship’ cliffs, a popular climbing destination on the west side of the island.

Climbers say fly-tipping is becoming an ever-increasing problem on Portland.

The fridge’s door became loose while plummeting down the cliff and narrowly missed a group of young climbers, according to the Dorset Bolt Fund, a group of volunteer climbers who help to maintain cliff paths.

Members of the group recovered the fridge from the bottom of the cliff after the incident.

A spokesman for Dorset Bolt Fund said the fridge could have caused a serious injury to one of the climbers.

They said: “There is no doubt that if that refrigerator had taken one extra bounce it would have caused a serious casualty or worse, fatality.

“Fly tipping is becoming an ever-increasing problem on Portland.

“There is no excuse for the damage to our beautiful coastline and the potential danger of throwing things off cliffs.

“Portland is one of the top climbing destinations in the UK and with the popularity of climbing increasing, the island is going to become more and more important to the scene.”

Sam Parsons, one of the volunteers tasked with recovering the fridge, said: “We were alerted to the incident and went down to clear the rubbish.

“ I want to highlight that climbers are helping to clean up these messes.

“We spent the day trying to drag the fridge up the cliff putting ourselves in danger.

“We also found a trolley down there but it was too heavy to take up the cliff.”

He added: “It is happening more and more, we go along the cliffs and the amount of mess is terrible.

“We will be climbing and something will come flying over the side of the cliff, it is usually dog poo and dog poo bags.”

Dorset County Council introduced charges for disposing of specific household goods at household recycling centre in September 2016.

However, disposing of a fridge is free of charge.

Councillor Sue Lees of Portland Town Council said: “Since our major clear up on Portland I think there has been less fly tipping on the island, but I don’t understand why people need to go through the effort to take this stuff and throw it off a cliff when they could just go to the tip – it would be much easier.

“It just seems ridiculous.”

For a full list of tip charges and information about household recycling centres visit www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk