Holidaymakers visiting Charmouth beach have described the moment they ‘feared for their lives’ as rocks plummeted from the cliff.

As reported, there was a rockfall along Charmouth beach on Sunday morning - and a family from Danbury, in Essex, say they 'could have been killed' as the cliff collapsed.

Elizabeth Downes and her husband Ronald were walking along the beach with two of their grandchildren, their daughter and one of their sons.

Mrs Downes told the News that they have been left  ‘shook up’ and ‘frightened ‘from the experience.

She said: “My family was on the beach at the time the rockfall happened.

“We got separated and had to run – it came down like a domino effect.  

“We have been very shook up and frightened – we were running for our lives – we could have been killed."

The family has been visiting the Jurassic Coast for 27 years to hunt for fossils and explained they were ‘well aware’ of the dangers the cliffs can pose as well as the incoming tide.

Mrs Downes added: “We had got separated from our grandchildren, they were hysterical and crying, they didn’t know if we had lost our lives – we were all so frightened and running like crazy.

“We come every year and we are well aware of the dangers and to not go near the cliffs. We were also worried as the tide was coming in."

Thankfully no one was hurt, and Mrs Downes and her family were able to make it back to their car safely but were warning other beach goers about the rockfall.

She continued: “We were warning people on our way back to the car as it was still coming down.”

Mrs Downes also wanted to highlight the fact that people were on the beach at the time and said that had they been covered by the rocks, her other son - who was not with them - would not have known what happened to them.

The incident is a stark reminder that even people with a good knowledge and understanding of the cliffs and the tide can be caught out.

Members of the Charmouth Heritage Centre discovered the rockfall on their way into work on Sunday morning and say that the cliff face remains 'very dangerous'.

Phil Davidson, Charmouth Heritage Centre palaeontologist, said: "All the rain we have had this winter and spring is seeping through the mud and clay - we will probably end up with some more landslides."

Coastguard and fire crews had only just rescued a young man from the cliff two days prior.

The young man was reunited with his family without harm, and visitors to the beach have been warned to take care as the cliff remains ‘very dangerous’ following lots of wet weather.