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Bridport photographer's dangerous snaps
PEOPLE are still putting their lives at risk on the beaches of West Dorset – to the despair of professionals and onlookers.
David Richards of Wanderwell in Bridport could barely believe his eyes when he took these pictures, right.
He said: “Yet again people are ignoring the warning signs at the end of the promenade at West Bay adjacent to Eype beach and taking their life in their hands.
“I understand the attraction of a short cut but this area and these cliffs, have had more than their fair share of tragedy in recent years and the signs are not put there to inconvenience locals or visitors but are there to save lives.”
Mr Richards said as people were ignoring safety advice it could be time to physically stop them risking their lives.
He added: “It would be nice to think that visitors would have the common sense to abide by a prominent warning sign, believing it to be put there for good reason, and local people should really know better but it appears that the idea that ‘it won’t happen to me’ takes precedent over any kind of self preservation.
“Maybe it's time to effectively block any access to Eype beach from this area and remove the possibility of further injury, or worse.”
Mr Richards also spotted these campers at 5.30am on Sunday morning.
William Knapman, the new station manager of Lyme Bay National Coastwatch Institute based at Burton Bradstock, said: “We and our coastguard colleagues are constantly concerned about the safety of the cliffs and the cliff paths.
“Although we do not normally leave the lookout we have, following the recent instance of people camping beneath the cliffs, put in place a check along the beach to the West of Hive Beach on an approximately two hourly basis so long as manpower and workload permits.
“The cliffs along this stretch of coast are unstable and dangerous and cliff falls have been occurring for thousands of years and will continue to do so.
“It is quite simply not possible to predict when and where such falls might occur and over the 20-odd years that I have been living here I have seen many, some large enough to have presented a serious danger to life.
“Not only does a cliff fall present a serious risk to the public but it also puts those members of the search and rescue organisation tasked with carrying out any rescue at serious risk.”
Richard Edmonds, Dorset County Council’s earth science manager for the Jurassic Coast, who is also a Lyme Regis coastguard, said people were taking unnecessary risks and there was no predicting when a rock fall could happen.
Mr Edmonds was personally involved when Charlotte Blackman was killed by a rock fall near Freshwater a year ago when decisions had to be made about whether the cliff was safe enough for rescue services to retrieve her body.