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  1. ITV Report

Climber dies after part of cliff face collapses in North Cornwall

A 66-year-old man was killed whilst scaling the cliff. Credit: ITV News West Country

A holidaymaker has died near Bude after part of a cliff face gave way on a remote Cornish beach as he was climbing.

The 66-year-old from East Hampshire was on holiday with his wife when the tragedy happened at Sandymouth Beach, near Bude.

Police say he was 10 metres off the ground, using climbing equipment, when part of the cliff face fell on top of him.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Credit: ITV News West Country

The alarm was raised by lifeguards at the beach.

The man's body remained trapped under a 1.5 tonne rock until it was recovered by coastguards.

Despite the use of climbing equipment, Falmouth Coastguard have issued the following warning about the dangers of the cliffs as a result:

We put the responsibility on people not to take unnecessary risks. It is a dangerous thing to do to be climbing on cliffs without really, really knowing the area and taking the appropriate safety measures in place. It is a really risky activity to go free climbing as it were. There is unstable areas [and] there is shale on the rocks and on the cliffs as well, so unless you are specifically trained we just advise people not to go climbing on our cliffs

– Falmouth Coastguard
Investigations are underway to look at the stability and signage around the area. Credit: ITV News West Country

Richard Gibbons from Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service was involved in recovering the body.

He told ITV: "Our sympathies go out to the family. Some family members have been present today and it must be an extremely difficult time for them having come down on holiday to enjoy Cornwall and end up in the tragic circumstances that has occurred.

It is a technically difficult job for us to do. The casualty was around 30 feet above beach level at the back of a sea stack where the rock fall took place which unfortunately pinned them and caused them to lose their life."

Investigations began on Tuesday [16 July] to look at the stability of the cliff face and to asses whether further signage needs to be put up to warn people about the dangers of these cliffs.