Coastguards issue landslide warning to beach users

Daily Echo: Fossil hunters and beach goers putting lives at risk Fossil hunters and beach goers putting lives at risk

Amateur fossil hunters and beach goers on teh south coast are putting their lives at risk by ignoring warnings and closures at cliff edges.

Coastguards say large sections of England's fragile south coast is crumbling into the sea, with landslides caused when heavy rainfall mixes with soft stone and rock to create ''a potentially deadly porridge''.

Around a quarter-mile of Swanage Bay in Dorset, along the Jurassic Coast, has begun crashing into the sea this weekend, while Lyme Regis is among the areas also being carefully monitored by emergency services following days of torrential rain.

The potentially deadly combination of heavy rainfall and fragile rockface was brought into sharp focus this summer following the death of 22-year-old Charlotte Blackman from Heanor, Derbyshire, who was on holiday when part of the cliff at Burton Bradstock collapsed and crushed her.

Yet the following day, people were still sunbathing below overhanging cliffs within a short distance of where Miss Blackman died.

Despite the best efforts of coastguards and other emergency services, people are ignoring warnings about the perilous nature of the coastline.

Philip Chappell, a coastguard in Weymouth, said: ''Parts of the Jurassic Coast are notoriously fragile, particularly following this bad weather.

''The amount of rain we've had recently is turning parts of the cliff into a potentially dangerous porridge.

''The professional fossil hunters are no problem, they know the risks - but the amateurs don't really have a clue.''

In Swanage, local coastguards are keeping a watch on areas near the beach and beach huts as sections of cliff continue to move, and on Portland a section of coast path on the west of the island is particularly vulnerable.

Further west, sections of beach and cliff near Charmouth have suffered from cliff falls and mudslides.

Simon Dennis of Portland Coastguard said: ''With the poor weather continuing, we're dealing with a number of landslips and mudslides along the Devon and Dorset coastline.

''In Lyme Regis, coastguards and Dorset Police are dealing with an area to the west of the town, with very significant movement, including buildings overhanging the cliff edge.''

Earlier this week, an amber landslide warning was put in place by the British Geological Survey for the South West, who urged walkers to take care along coastal routes.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:29pm Sat 29 Dec 12

J.P.M says...

_____>>>>>____(-)
_____>>>>>____(-) J.P.M

11:02pm Sat 29 Dec 12

chunky_lover says...

''The professional fossil hunters are no problem, they know the risks - but the amateurs don't really have a clue.'' - what a ridiculous article about hot air.
''The professional fossil hunters are no problem, they know the risks - but the amateurs don't really have a clue.'' - what a ridiculous article about hot air. chunky_lover

11:19pm Sat 29 Dec 12

J.P.M says...

chunky_lover wrote:
''The professional fossil hunters are no problem, they know the risks - but the amateurs don't really have a clue.'' - what a ridiculous article about hot air.
That is my point exactly.
[quote][p][bold]chunky_lover[/bold] wrote: ''The professional fossil hunters are no problem, they know the risks - but the amateurs don't really have a clue.'' - what a ridiculous article about hot air.[/p][/quote]That is my point exactly. J.P.M

12:37pm Sun 30 Dec 12

southy says...

J.P.M wrote:
chunky_lover wrote:
''The professional fossil hunters are no problem, they know the risks - but the amateurs don't really have a clue.'' - what a ridiculous article about hot air.
That is my point exactly.
Thinking that my self.

All they can do is warn them, they can't stop them, unless they use the law that stops them to protect them.
[quote][p][bold]J.P.M[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chunky_lover[/bold] wrote: ''The professional fossil hunters are no problem, they know the risks - but the amateurs don't really have a clue.'' - what a ridiculous article about hot air.[/p][/quote]That is my point exactly.[/p][/quote]Thinking that my self. All they can do is warn them, they can't stop them, unless they use the law that stops them to protect them. southy

11:58am Mon 31 Dec 12

Subject48 says...

How do I become a professional fossil hunter!? That sounds so much more exciting then my current job!
How do I become a professional fossil hunter!? That sounds so much more exciting then my current job! Subject48

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree