Coastal walkers are ‘risking their lives’

PUBLISHED: 11:41 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:46 25 February 2019

Fossil hunters at Charmouth. Picture: RNLI

Fossil hunters at Charmouth. Picture: RNLI

Picture: RNLI

Coastguards and RNLI issue a stark warning

An abandoned wellie boot stuck in the mud at Charmouth. Picture RNLIAn abandoned wellie boot stuck in the mud at Charmouth. Picture RNLI

Coastguards and the RNLI in Lyme Regis say people are risking their lives by ignoring the dangers along the Jurassic Coast.

The latest warning follows two incidents in which seven people were cut off by the tide.

And photographs have emerged of a couple and four children climbing in the mud on the cliffs at Charmouth.

Volunteer Lyme Regis RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick Marks said: “This latest evidence of people climbing the cliff with children is a serious concern, as is those who become cut off by the tide.

“I fear serious injury, or even loss of life, is a real possibility when people do not take seriously the dangers that the coast presents.

“That is not to say they should not enjoy the coast, but it is to emphasise that they must take great care and plan their activities according to the conditions.”

Photographs of the family climbing in the mud were taken (last Thursday February 21) by a fossil hunter on the beach at Charmouth, who said: ”I was horrified to see two adults and four children, all apparently under the age of ten, climbing the cliff. Mud was actually falling off the cliff at the time.

“I also saw two wellington boots stuck in the mud and presumably abandoned by their wearers.”

Coastguards, who have dealt with several incidents involving people cut off by the tide or trapped on cliffs, have also issued many warnings and advice.

Nick Bale, station officer at Lyme Regis Coastguard, said: “We have carried out six rescues in the space of 72 hours. In all cases the casualties have put themselves in unnecessary danger through lack of forethought and ignoring straightforward advice and signage. Their rescuers have also been put into these dangerous situations.

“Coastguard advice remains very clear…do not put yourself at risk by climbing cliffs or investigating muddy areas as you can easily become stuck. If you do become stuck, remain calm and keep as still as you can.

“If you find yourself in difficulty at sea, on the beach or the cliffs or if you see something which gives you cause for concern do not hesitate…dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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