Chunk of cliff collapses just metres from beachgoers

Part of the cliff collapsed at Sidmouth
Part of the cliff collapsed at Sidmouth

 

Beachgoers had a lucky escape from a landslide in Devon when part of a cliff collapsed.

People were seen standing at the foot of the cliff in Sidmouth seconds after rocks fell down.

The cliff fall took place on Thursday at around 4:15pm near Jacobs Ladder.

Kayaker Paul Clay witnessed the landslide which created huge plumes of red dust.

He said it sounded like thunder.

Paul said: ‘It just missed people walking on shoreline at 4.16pm.

Cliff fall at Sidmouth, Devon, on Thursday June 25 which was just metres away from beachgoers. Credit: DevonLive/BPM/Glen Lear
The fall was just metres away from beachgoers (Picture: DevonLive/BPM/Glen Lear)

 

Cliff fall at Sidmouth, Devon, on Thursday June 25 which was just metres away from beachgoers. Credit: DevonLive/BPM/Glen Lear
The aftermath of the fall (Picture: DevonLive/BPM/Glen Lear)

 

‘It happened at the cliff’s highest point with the narrowest (stretch of) beach.’

The fall is the latest of many to have occurred at Sidmouth in the past few months.

Despite the potential dangers that yesterday’s ‘thunderous’ cliff collapse posed, beachgoers remained on the beach.

An East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokesperson said: ‘The main reason [for the cliff falls] is the prolonged dry weather we have had, which followed the wettest February on record.

‘The extreme wet to dry condition of the cliff is the likely cause of the falls.’

The Coastguard advises that walkers should keep a distance away from the cliff equivalent to the cliff’s height.

For example, if a cliff is 20 metres in height, pedestrians should keep 20 metres away.

A council spokesperson added: ‘It is good practice when on the beach to stay well clear of the cliff base and to keep an eye out for fresh fall material or water running down the cliffs, which may indicate an area that is weakened and loose.’

‘If a cliff fall does occur and you suspect that someone has been injured, call 999 immediately.’

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