Burton Bradstock landslide: Relatives' grim struggle

11:30am Wednesday 25th July 2012

Canoeist Dave Warren told how desperate relatives tried to rescue the woman buried when the cliffs collapsed.

He tried to warn people as the cliff began to crumble.

He said: “I saw three lots come down.

“I canoed back as quickly as I could and tried to stop everybody.”

Mr Warren, of Swindon, warned family members of the woman to get away from the cliffs.

He said: “They were trying to dig but I said, ‘you have to get back the whole lot’s going to come down.’ ”

Gary Rafferty, 36, of Bournemouth, said: “We were walking right along the path where it began to fall, we didn’t hear a sound. It was just terrifying.

“I rushed to help and helped a man in his 50s out of the debris. I saw a younger man who had also been trapped. I asked him if he was okay and he said, ‘no, my girlfriend’s trapped under there’.”

Former Bridport teacher Len Muggeridge witnessed the rock falls while fishing on his boat.

He said the noise was like ‘thunder’ when the cliff fell.

Dennis Gregory, of Weston-Super-Mare, said: “We were on the beach and we saw loads of rocks fall in three stages. We saw it fall on people and it was just an awful thing to happen.”

Steph Chamney, 17, from Bridport, said: “We were coming down the beach and we saw it all happen.

“We heard the coastguard behind us saying there was more than 100 tonnes of earth come down and they were trying to look for people trapped.

“We saw a boy wrapped up in a foil sheet.”

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