THRILLSEEKERS who sat on the edge of dangerous and unstable cliffs in West Bay have been labelled ‘stupid and reckless’.

These pictures taken at West Bay show how numerous safety pleas from coastguards and safety officers are still being ignored – with people continuing to risk their lives near unstable cliffs.

And in the New Year renewed warnings from emergency services to take care along the coast are as important as ever, experts have said.

Dorset County Council’s earth science manager for the Jurassic Coast, Richard Edmonds, said: “People don’t seem to think these continuous safety warnings apply to them but that is very much the case.

“By sitting right on the cliff edge, these people also run the risk of dislodging a rock on to someone else’s head down below.”

During the summer of 2012, 22-year-old holidaymaker Charlotte Blackman was killed by a rockfall on Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock.

At the inquest her father Kevin said the fall happened ‘in the blink of an eye’.

Mr Edmonds added: “This is a very different and obvious kind of danger close to the cliffs, and could be prevented.

“Quite frankly, these people shouldn’t have been so stupid.”

Beaminster resident Beth James, who took the photos, said: “Walking towards West Cliff I saw the scariest sight; sitting perched right on the cliff edge were three people taking photos and enjoying the sun.

“Down at ground level others were taking photos of them but were quite concerned about their reckless, shocking and irresponsible behaviour.

She added: “We can only reiterate the safety warnings – especially as it’s the start of a new year – and hope that these photos might save one person’s life at least.”

Year in review

THE photos come as the West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team publishes its end of year review this week. It revealed the team dealt with an average of one incident a week in 2014; responding to reports of three large cliff falls and evacuating eight people from coastlines or cliff tops throughout the year.

Bridport harbourmaster James Radcliffe reiterated safety warnings to the public and urged people to stick to the footpaths.

He added: “Please do stay away from the cliff edges, and remember if you run into trouble on the coast – or even if you are not sure – dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”