Coastguards warn of the dangers of landslides

More signs have been put up following public safety Photo: Seth Conway

There are fresh warnings about the dangers of landslides along the Jurassic Coast after another large fall near Charmouth last night. It happened at St Gabriel's Mouth. Coastguard teams and police have been searching the area and checking the cliffs. Five people who were on the beach at the time were not hurt.

It comes just two weeks after Charlotte Blackman, 22, died when she was crushed by 400 tonnes of rock that fell on her at Hive Beach in Burton Bradstock during a cliff fall. Her funeral is tomorrow in Bramcote.

Last night tonnes of rock fell from the Jurassic Coast cliff between Charmouth and Golden Cap but thankfully landed on a plateau rather than crashing down on to the beach. The crew of a passing boat sounded the alarm as five people were walking below at the time. Today the Hallums family from Warminster were keeping a close eye on the cliff face behind them.

I would say there probably isn't a safe distance is there but it's just a case of being aware of what's around you and that's all I can do really.

– Claire Hallums, holidaymaker

Local Jurassic coast wardens have been patrolling the beach today alerting holiday makers to the danger.

Having seen the news the Elliott family from Radstock near Bath chose to sit on the part of Charmouth beach that doesn't back on to the Jurassic coast cliffs. Hundreds of fellow tourists had also taken the same view.

We came down a couple of days ago and there was a man getting people down from the side because they were up there gathering rocks but we've been finding some great fossils on the beach rather than going to the rocks so that's why we came here.

– Mark Elliott, from Radstock

Last night [Wednesday] The Lyme Regis and West Bay Coastguard rescue teams, the Coastguard rescue helicopter from Portland, RNLI Lifeboat and Dorset Police all attended the scene. When the emergency services arrived the five people seen by the ship were quickly accounted for and they were asked to leave the area due to the continued risk. It was established that there were no other people missing.

People appear to still be too close to the cliff Credit: Seth Conway

The cliffs along the West Dorset coast are very unstable following the extensive rain earlier this year and in certain areas it remains extremely unsafe to walk along the beach. We are especially concerned about the risk after the death which happened in July at Burton Bradstock."

– Maddy Davey, Portland Coastguard watch manager

Staff at the local heritage centre say that news of the recent tragedy doesn't appear to have put tourists off coming but the visitors are keen for information.

A lot more people now are asking whether these areas are safe and we give them the correct information and as long as you act responsibly in these areas they're perfectly safe.

– Meirel Whaites, Senior Warden, Charmouth Heritage Centre

This exceptionally wet summer is being blamed for the increase in landslips on the coast between East Devon and Dorset.