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  1. ITV Report

Girl who died in North Yorkshire seaside rock fall named as Harriet Forster

Harriet Forster Credit: Family Photo

The girl tragically killed in a rock fall incident at Staithes, north of Whitby, has been named as Harriet Emily Nicola Forster, aged 9, from Oxford.

Harriet was visiting Staithes with her family when the incident occurred near the south pier at Seaton Garth at around 4.47pm on Wednesday 8 August.

The beach at Staithes where the young girl tragically lost her life Credit: PA

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, including the Coastguard, the RNLI, ambulance, air ambulance, fire and rescue and the police, Harriet was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

North Yorkshire Police said she was visiting Staithes with her family.

We cannot comprehend the enormity of this tragedy. Harriet was the light of our lives.

We ask that you give us time as a family to support each other through our indescribable pain. Thank you."

– Family Statement
Tributes have been collected in the village for the young girl Credit: PA

Officers said they are compiling a report about the circumstances of the death on behalf of the coroner.

Signs are visible on the cliff face warning visitors of potential danger Credit: PA
  • Scarborough Borough Council has released the following statement:

Our main priority has been to support those affected by this deeply upsetting event. An incident support team has been on the ground in Staithes offering advice and guidance to residents and visitors, and local councillors have been actively supporting their local community.

Of course, our thoughts and prayers very much remain with the family of the nine-year-old girl who so tragically lost her life and those who tried to save her.

Although Scarborough Borough Council is not responsible for cliff safety in this particular area as we are not the landowner, we care about the safety and wellbeing of residents and visitors. Whilst there are no plans at present to close off the area, visitors to our seaside should always be aware of the inherent natural risks associated with the geology of our cliffs and coastline and take the necessary precautions, which include not going too close to the edge or standing directly under cliffs.

Landslides and rockfalls are not uncommon along our stretch of coastline but most of the time they go completely unnoticed. People should continue to enjoy our stunning cliffs and beaches but heed the prominent warning signs that are in place in those areas we know are prone to cliff movement, including the ones in Staithes.

We are not in a position to comment on the specific circumstances surrounding the death of the little girl on Wednesday, but we will provide any relevant information to the police and coroner should it be needed.

– Statement: Scarborough Borough Council
Debris fell from the cliffs in this seaside villiage Credit: PA