Lifeguards have warned British holidaymakers of a “life-threatening” danger at a popular beach where a colossal 65ft “sheer cliff” is teetering on the brink of collapse. The base of the cliff, made totally of sand, is being eroded by the relentless surf at the beach. The warning comes after part of the dunes at Newquay, Cornwall, collapsed on Wednesday.
Anyone venturing within 164ft of the cliff faces grave “life-threatening consequences” if they become trapped, it has been warned.
Lewis Timson, a lifeguard from the RNLI, said: “With the dry weather and surf of three to four foot expected the nature of the sand dune system is predicted to shift and remain unstable for the foreseeable future and risks collapse at any time.
“Sand is extremely heavy, and in the event of the dune collapsing, there is an increased danger of becoming buried with potentially life-threatening consequences.
“The change in direction of the river at Crantock which has increased the risk of rip currents in the water. I advise anyone visiting the beach to keep well clear from the dune system, swim between the red and yellow flags.
“Please speak to our lifeguards if you have any concerns or questions.”
Lewis Timson, a lifeguard from the RNLI, expressed his concern, stating, “Given the dry weather conditions and anticipated 3 to 4-foot surf, the unstable nature of the sand dune system is likely to persist, with the risk of collapse at any moment. Sand possesses considerable weight, and in the event of a dune collapse, there is an increased peril of being buried, posing potentially life-threatening circumstances.”
In the event of witnessing a cliff collapse, it is crucial to immediately call 999 and request assistance from the coastguard and fire service.
This warning follows a previous advisory directed towards holidaymakers after a child was spotted “disappearing” into a hazardous sand cave at the beach.
Urgently posted on Facebook by the Crantock Surf Life Saving Club, it read: “On Good Friday one of our patrols intervened when a child was seen disappearing into this sand cave that they had burrowed into the dune cliff.
“They spoke to the child about the dangers and took action to collapse the hole safely to prevent anyone else from being tempted to climb in.
“The sand collapsed with very little effort showing just how dangerous it could have been if the sand had been dislodged by the child’s spade or someone unaware walking above.
“Collapsing sand can suffocate. This post is to help educate people to please enjoy the beach safely so please please no negative comments. Positive words and shares only please.”