Dorset

Swanage landslip warning signs 'ignored'

  • 24 December 2012
  • From the section Dorset
Swanage landslip
Image caption The area was being assessed to see if there is any risk to property

People are risking their lives by ignoring warning signs on a Dorset beach following two landslips, the authorities say.

The first landslip, near the Grand Hotel in Swanage, was reported by Portland Coastguard on Friday.

A second fall occurred on Saturday on the northern part of Swanage Beach, which is currently closed between Ocean Bay and Shep's Hollow.

Purbeck District Council said there was a risk of further landslides.

'Minimise risk'

In a statement, Steve Mackenzie, chief executive of Purbeck District Council, said Dorset Police, the Coastguard Agency and the council were "deeply concerned".

"People are risking their lives by ignoring the warning signs," he said.

Ian Brown, from Swanage Coastguard, said the section of beach had been closed to "minimise the risk to members of the public".

"They're ignoring the signs, they're stepping over the tape, they're not taking our advice," he added.

"This is an active landslip that has been moving for about 18 months."

Mr Brown said the recent heavy rain had "speeded up the process".

"The mud and clay has got so wet it is just sliding down," he said.

Walkers in the area are being urged to heed warning signs.

Charlotte Blackman, 22, from Heanor, Derbyshire died on 24 July after the 160ft (49m) high cliff above her collapsed onto Hive Beach near Burton Bradstock.

Five people escaped unhurt after a landslide on 8 August between Charmouth and Golden Cap.

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