Cliff fall in Cornwall leaves onlookers shocked

  • Cliff fall caught on camera

A man says he was left stunned when a cliff face collapsed while he was walking on a Cornish beach.

Gareth Saddler was with his partner at Porthtowan Beach near St Agnes on Tuesday 12 October when they witnessed the cliff fall.

Mr Saddler said they had been walking along the right-hand side of the beach, not getting too close to the edge, when they stopped to say hello to a passing couple.

But after turning around to walk back to the car they heard what sounded like “thunder” crashing 100 metres away.

He said: “There was this massive huge crash which sounded like thunder. It made us both really jump.

"Originally we thought it was a large wave crashing against the cliff.

“We looked back and realised there had been a rock slide and a piece of the cliff had fallen.

“There were a few rocks still trickling down.”

He added: “I thought I’d get my camera out and start filming, then, absolute luck of the draw, part of the cliff just broke off. “We were like - ‘NO WAY!"

The encounter reinforced to the couple how dangerous the coast can be.

Mr Saddler said: “It was surreal. We stood there for a minute or two just in awe. It makes you realise how beautiful our coastline is, but also how dangerous it can be.

“In the summer you get these families tucked up against the cliff, where they make a little hub for the day.

“But you see something like that cliff fall and you realise people need to be aware of the dangers.

“If a family had been sitting there, I don’t want to comprehend what could have happened.

“It was absolutely unbelievable. I phoned the coastguard to let them know about the incident.”