SAFETY warnings have been issued after a weekend of risk-taking on Dorset’s beaches. Beachgoers still continue to risk their lives near unstable cliffs – sunbathing just metres away from a warning sign.
These photos, taken on Saturday at Burton Bradstock, show how numerous pleas from coastguards and safety officers are being ignored.
Similar snaps were taken in the same spot last year and once again sunbathers are being urged to think twice.
One onlooker said: “These photos follow on from last year’s – then it was a young family camping in a tent underneath the cliff, this time it is day-trippers.
“That section of cliff actually looks unstable and I don’t think it will be too long until it collapses.”
The Maritime Coastguard Agency has reissued its warning to ‘never assume that a rock face is stable and stay well away from the foot of a cliff when visiting beaches with a cliff backdrop’.
Meanwhile, drama unfolded in Swanage after a man, who forgot his kill cord and lifejacket, was flipped from his motorboat as he went to save someone else.
Pedalo and deckchair hire owner Carlo Wiggins saw someone in trouble in a dinghy and dashed to rescue him in his Dorey motorboat, which hit waves and flipped him out.
Carlo, who is now urging people to ‘always remember’ their safety procedures, swam away from the boat, which kept chugging round in a circle.
He was helped from the water by his father, Barry Wiggins who arrived on a pedalo, and his friend Justin Streams came over on a jetski and turned the boat’s throttle off. The dinghy sailor was also rescued.
Carlo is now urging anyone using a boat to remember that no matter the emergency, they must remember to attach their kill cord and wear a lifejacket.
A kill cord is designed to kill the engine in the event of the driver going overboard and is normally attached to the leg or to a buoyancy aid.
Fortunately, Carlo’s out-of-control vessel did not hit anyone.
He said the craft moved in slow, tight circles, not like a speedboat, and so he was able to swim away and wait until help arrived.
Carlo said he felt ‘terrible’ about the incident, as he has worked on the beach for 30 years and has an ‘immaculate’ safety record – including saving two boys who fell from their rubber dinghy last year.
But he said he rushed to help a dinghy in distress on Saturday afternoon and a series of events lead to the ‘unfortunate’ incident.
He said: “I’ve learnt a valuable lesson.
“Whatever the emergency situation you have always got to make time for your safety procedures or you could actually make the situation worse. I’ll never ever not wear that kill cord again – even if I’m pottering out somewhere.”
Coastguards said the incident highlighted the importance of wearing buoyancy aids and a kill cord.
Portland Coastguard Watch manager Cindy Rodaway said: “We are very relieved that everyone is safe and well and that there are no injuries resulting from this incident. All owners and drivers of open powerboats, personal watercraft and RIBs should ensure that, if their boat is fitted with a kill switch and kill cord, it is correctly used.”