Coastguards urge public to stop risking lives after several landslips on Dorset coastline

Bournemouth Echo: DANGER: Swanage Coastguard Nick Field and deputy station manager Gareth Kitching at the scene of serious landslipping around Swanage DANGER: Swanage Coastguard Nick Field and deputy station manager Gareth Kitching at the scene of serious landslipping around Swanage

COASTGUARDS are urging members of the public to stop risking their lives after several landslips along the Dorset coastline.

A landslide warning remains in place as heavy downpours caused unstable cliff faces to collapse at Redcliff near Weymouth, Stair Hole near Lulworth Cove and at Swanage.

There have been further reports of movement along parts of the coast around the west of Portland, West Bay, Lyme Regis and Charmouth.

Dozens of fossil hunters have been clambering over recent falls looking for specimens despite repeated pleas to stay away.

Dorset County Council has cordoned off dangerous areas but coastguards claim people are continuing to dice with death by walking through the danger zones.

A spokesman for Portland Coastguard has urged people to heed their warnings and said rescue teams are monitoring the situation closely.

The spokesman added: “Some people flout safety warnings by venturing too close to the perilous cliffs along the coast.

“We are urging people to be really very, very careful. The heavy rainfall has created dangerous conditions along the coast but even if we have a dry spell it is still a risk and prone to collapse.”

Coastguards have closed a large section of the north beach in Swanage amid fears that tonnes of sandstone, clay and vegetation could come tumbling down at any time.

But despite the area being taped off people are continuing to dice with death by walking through the danger zone, sometimes accompanied by children and pet dogs.

Exasperated Swanage Coast-guard Station volunteers are pleading with them to heed their warnings. They have been monitoring the situation closely and have seen at close hand how the landscape can change in a matter of minutes.

The Met Office, which issued the warning following advice from the British Geological Survey, said coastal areas in the south-west of England, including Dorset, are in further danger of collapsing cliff edges and rockfall.

Many coastal paths have been closed over the last few weeks along the south west.

Coastguards have closed a large section of the beach in Swanage amid fears that tonnes of sandstone could come tumbling down at any time.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “We have had such heavy and persistent rain fall over the last few days and weeks and that there is a danger of rockfall along the coast.

“We are advising walkers to take particular care in these dangerous conditions.

“Do not get too close to the cliff edge or walk under the cliff face along the beach and remember that coastal paths could be impacted too.”

Three Deaths Already Caused By Conditions

LANDSLIPS caused by heavy rain in Dorset earlier this year led to three people losing their lives. Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe from Somerset were found entombed in a car 10 days after the partial collapse of Beaminster Tunnel in July.

A week after the gruesome discovery, 22-year-old Charlotte Blackman was crushed under 400 tonnes of rock when part of the cliffs at Hive Beach near Burton Bradstock came down.

An inquest into her death at Dorchester before Christmas was told that the rockfall was a ‘sudden act of nature’, which no one could have predicted.

Charlotte, 22, of Heanor in Derbyshire, died despite a major rescue operation, which lasted into the night.

After the tragedy, David Evans, environment director at Dorset County Council, said: “It’s a feature of the Jurassic Coast that rock slides have happened since time immemorial.

“The particular problem here has been created by heavy rainfall.”

Flood warnings remain in place for local rivers and residents urged to take care as more rain is on the way today.

Comments (13)

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10:32am Mon 31 Dec 12

marabout says...

Hmmmm - Only last week there was an inquiry into the tragic death of a young lady where the court was told that it is impossible to predict these falls. Now it seems it is very easy to predict these falls.

As a local I know full well never to walk anywhere near these cliffs. Please lets not allow another tragedy to happen.

It is very easy to predict these falls and the only way to avoid them is to stay well clear - ALWAYS
Hmmmm - Only last week there was an inquiry into the tragic death of a young lady where the court was told that it is impossible to predict these falls. Now it seems it is very easy to predict these falls. As a local I know full well never to walk anywhere near these cliffs. Please lets not allow another tragedy to happen. It is very easy to predict these falls and the only way to avoid them is to stay well clear - ALWAYS marabout

10:34am Mon 31 Dec 12

Dorset Boy says...

There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts.
There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts. Dorset Boy

10:46am Mon 31 Dec 12

JamesYoung says...

Dorset Boy wrote:
There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts.
Hear hear.
[quote][p][bold]Dorset Boy[/bold] wrote: There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts.[/p][/quote]Hear hear. JamesYoung

11:51am Mon 31 Dec 12

marabout says...

JamesYoung wrote:
Dorset Boy wrote:
There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts.
Hear hear.
They already pay for the rescue services.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dorset Boy[/bold] wrote: There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts.[/p][/quote]Hear hear.[/p][/quote]They already pay for the rescue services. marabout

12:30pm Mon 31 Dec 12

shy talk says...

Some years ago whilst serving with the SAR from RNAS Culdrose. We had a call out to Church Cove to a small boy, who was floating out to sea on a large lilo. The beach lifeguards had placed red warning flags on the beach. The parents of the child had ignored the warnings.

The SAR rescued the boy safely. During the rescue the diver had sunk the lilo has it was to big to recover. And prevent a danger to shipping and stop any false alarms. The lifeguards recovered the lilo later, which had a large slash mark.

The boy was reunited with his parents however the father asked if the navy would pay for and replace the lilo. The Captain agreed only if the father paid for the rescue, he agreed. The bill was presented and the lilo issue was dropped.

As pointed out if people ignore warnings and need to be rescued they should be charged. Even if they have already paid.
Some years ago whilst serving with the SAR from RNAS Culdrose. We had a call out to Church Cove to a small boy, who was floating out to sea on a large lilo. The beach lifeguards had placed red warning flags on the beach. The parents of the child had ignored the warnings. The SAR rescued the boy safely. During the rescue the diver had sunk the lilo has it was to big to recover. And prevent a danger to shipping and stop any false alarms. The lifeguards recovered the lilo later, which had a large slash mark. The boy was reunited with his parents however the father asked if the navy would pay for and replace the lilo. The Captain agreed only if the father paid for the rescue, he agreed. The bill was presented and the lilo issue was dropped. As pointed out if people ignore warnings and need to be rescued they should be charged. Even if they have already paid. shy talk

12:35pm Mon 31 Dec 12

dadza says...

Dorset Boy wrote:
There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts.
So would you also charge drivers who ignore speed limits ?What about fire victims who ignore warnings and leave chip pans on etc etc
[quote][p][bold]Dorset Boy[/bold] wrote: There is only one way to get the public to take notice of warning signs. If they need rescuing send them the bill for the emergency services. If caught and warned about putting their lives, and coastguards, etc, at risk, put them in court and hit their pockets where it hurts.[/p][/quote]So would you also charge drivers who ignore speed limits ?What about fire victims who ignore warnings and leave chip pans on etc etc dadza

1:58pm Mon 31 Dec 12

shy talk says...

Dadza are you to referring to drivers who ignore speed limits and crash? If not, drivers who ignore speed limits and are caught are fined. The ambulance, fire and rescue services have discretionary powers to charge for rescues in certain circumstances. The ambulances service (NHS) do charge by claiming, if vehicles are involved from the insurance company’s. However with fires, we don't have signs in our kitchens or somebody in the kitchen telling us that it is dangerous and then ignoring the advice. Every incident has different circumstances and if a charge is to levied, all factors should be considered.
Dadza are you to referring to drivers who ignore speed limits and crash? If not, drivers who ignore speed limits and are caught are fined. The ambulance, fire and rescue services have discretionary powers to charge for rescues in certain circumstances. The ambulances service (NHS) do charge by claiming, if vehicles are involved from the insurance company’s. However with fires, we don't have signs in our kitchens or somebody in the kitchen telling us that it is dangerous and then ignoring the advice. Every incident has different circumstances and if a charge is to levied, all factors should be considered. shy talk

2:08pm Mon 31 Dec 12

osmington4 says...

Just close all the footpaths and put up a sign saying that if anyone chooses to walk on the footpath and are caught doing so they will be fined £1000.
Just close all the footpaths and put up a sign saying that if anyone chooses to walk on the footpath and are caught doing so they will be fined £1000. osmington4

2:36pm Mon 31 Dec 12

shy talk says...

Signs. What about danger unexploded bomb or danger minefield ? Yes, getting bored now. It's a colouring in book day, cannot go out to play because it's raining outside. Driving my “carer” mad.
Signs. What about danger unexploded bomb or danger minefield ? Yes, getting bored now. It's a colouring in book day, cannot go out to play because it's raining outside. Driving my “carer” mad. shy talk

9:33pm Mon 31 Dec 12

cj07589 says...

Merry Xmas & happy 2013 to those with self preservation and common sense!
Merry Xmas & happy 2013 to those with self preservation and common sense! cj07589

6:44am Tue 1 Jan 13

kildare43 says...

osmington4 wrote:
Just close all the footpaths and put up a sign saying that if anyone chooses to walk on the footpath and are caught doing so they will be fined £1000.
Great idea, that will soon pay for the new Coastguard station at West Bay. And after watching the moron on the news at Swanage, there will be plenty in the kitty for an outdoor swimming pool at West Bay too.
[quote][p][bold]osmington4[/bold] wrote: Just close all the footpaths and put up a sign saying that if anyone chooses to walk on the footpath and are caught doing so they will be fined £1000.[/p][/quote]Great idea, that will soon pay for the new Coastguard station at West Bay. And after watching the moron on the news at Swanage, there will be plenty in the kitty for an outdoor swimming pool at West Bay too. kildare43

2:43pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Atilla says...

Yet again there is confusion between HM Coastguard and the National Coastwatch Institution. It is the latter that wants to build a lookout at West Bay
Yet again there is confusion between HM Coastguard and the National Coastwatch Institution. It is the latter that wants to build a lookout at West Bay Atilla

11:38pm Fri 4 Jan 13

EtaoinShrdlu says...

Just let the Theory of Natural Selection take its course. If you want to find out more just google Darwin Awards, a yearly list of the best and brightest in their quest to remove themselves from the gene pool.
Just let the Theory of Natural Selection take its course. If you want to find out more just google Darwin Awards, a yearly list of the best and brightest in their quest to remove themselves from the gene pool. EtaoinShrdlu

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