Beachgoers warned to stay safe this summer

Beachgoers warned to stay safe this summer

Sunbathers ignore signs to stay away from cliffs

Lifeboat operations manager and Lyme Regis Harbourmaster Grahame Forshaw

First published in News

WEST DORSET: Beachgoers are being urged to stay safe after a group of children were cut off by the tide.

Sunbathers have also been spotted taking risks by getting close to unstable cliffs - just metres from a sign warning people to stay away.

These photos, taken on Saturday at Burton Bradstock, show how numerous pleas from coastguards and safety officers are being ignored.

Nine people were cut off by the tide in separate incidents on Monday.

A woman and six children were rescued just after 6pm from the old breakwater at Lyme Regis after being cut off.

The Lyme Regis Inshore Lifeboat was launched and they were taken to safety.

And at just after 9pm two teenagers became cut off on the eastern side of Charmouth Beach.

A spokesperson for Portland Coastguard said the youngsters had been fossiling.

A member of the public alerted the emergency services and monitored the teenagers who made their way through the water back to the beach.

Lifeboat Operations Manager and Harbourmaster, Grahame Forshaw: “It's not rocket science. In fact, it is a very simple message.

“If you want go for a walk along the coastline - and it's quite understandable in this beautiful part of the country - then please check on the state of the tide first.

“The tide times are published outside my office at the Cobb and you can buy the little booklet of tide times from many shops including the lifeboat shop next to the lifeboat station.

“I appreciate that people tend to go for a coastal walk, perhaps on the spur of the moment. But getting cut off by the tide can be dangerous, so the message is quite simply to check the tide situation first.”

Similar snaps at the Burton Bradstock cliffs 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'.

It comes after several days of heavy rain, and while experts say there is no clear link between the weather and landslides, the tragic rockfall that killed holidaymaker Charlotte Blackman in 2012 occurred after heavy rain.

Dorset County Council's earth science manager for the Jurassic Coast Richard Edmonds said: “It is a case of re-iterating the warning. Thankfully, cliff falls are rare but that doesn't mean that it won't happen.

“Sitting underneath is an unnecessary risk. The rain has been very intense recently.”

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