Take Extra Care Around the Cliffs

HM Coastguard is asking people planning to make the most of the last few days of the school holidays in England and Wales with a visit to coastline to keep safe, heed any warnings and take extra care around the cliffs.

Cliffs can be very dangerous and prone to rock slides and falls at any time and the local Coastguards have a few easy to follow safety tips to share so people don’t put their lives and those of others at risk.

 ‘The cliffs in our coastal area can be very dangerous. At Staithes in Yorkshire for example the cliffs are mudstone which means they slip very easily and any large rocks above that can weigh many hundreds of kilos have no support and can come crashing down with little or no notice,’ said Jolene Smith, Senior Maritime Operations Officer based at HM Coastguard’s Humber Operations Centre.

‘Very sadly a young girl lost her life last year when she was close to the cliffs at Staithes and we want to avoid that happening again here and anywhere else for that matter. It’s why we are re-sharing our top five tips for being safe around our stunning cliff tops and our coastal beaches,’ she said.

  1. Make sure that you are properly equipped for walking along coastal paths. In particular remember to wear sturdy shoes or boots and check the weather forecast and tidal times before you set out. Carry a mobile phone and tell someone where you are going and what time you will be home
  2. Do not attempt to climb up or down cliffs unless you are properly equipped and trained to do so. Do not attempt to climb cliffs as a short cut back to the top and do not attempt to self-rescue yourself or your dog if you get into difficulty.
  3.  When standing at the bottom of a cliff, we would always advise people that they shouldn’t stand less than the height of the cliff away.  That means that if the cliff is 25 metres high, don’t go closer than 25 metres towards it.
  4. Some of the cliff cracks that have appeared have been several feet away from the edge. Don’t be tempted to go and investigate and don’t risk going to the edge to get a dramatic picture. One of our biggest problems is the ‘selfie-culture’ where people take great risks to get a dramatic photograph of themselves on a dangerous cliff edge – no selfie is worth risking your life for.
  5.  Please enjoy your time at our lovely coast, but make sure you and yours come home again safely. As ever, our message is, ‘Keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard’. 

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