Swanage Coastguard warning after two spotted on cliff edge

Two people who’d walked out along the narrow ridge at the top of Old Harry Rocks had to be told not to risk their lives for a photo by Swanage Coastguard.

During routine coastguard training on Tuesday 18th May 2020, the pair were spotted in the precarious position at Handfast Point – the tip of the peninsula between Swanage and Studland.

Swanage Coastguard training at Old Harry Rocks
Swanage Coastguard
Swanage Coastguard training at Old Harry Rocks
Swanage Coastguard

Routine coastguard training at Old Harry Rocks

Accidently slipped

This follows a recent incident when a 28 year old man, Alex Tridico was visiting Old Harry Rocks and accidently slipped, falling more than 30 metres from the cliff into shallow water below.

Miraculously, while he sustained a punctured lung and three broken ribs, he survived due to luck and the swift response of others including the Swanage Lifeboat crew.

Old Harry Rocks
Swanage Coastguard

The place where Alex Tridico fell from the cliff at Old Harry Rocks into shallow water

Stay five metres back

After this incident Swanage Coastguard warned of the dangers of walking too close to the edge of cliffs and recommended staying five metres back at all times.

However there’s concern with summer ahead and restrictions on foreign travel remaining, more people than ever are expected to visit the area. For many, they may have never explored Dorset before and be less familiar with how unstable cliff edges, especially chalk or limestone cliffs may be.

“Is risking your safety for a photo worth it?”

Swanage Coastguard reported:

“Despite recent warnings, the team had to stop training this week to prevent another serious accident.

“On Tuesday the team were rope training at Old Harry when two people were seen walking out on a very narrow path. The training was halted whilst a team member went to speak to the pair and ask them to come back.

“Is risking your safety for a photo worth it?”

Old Harry Rocks
Swanage Coastguard

There is a sheer drop of more than 30 metres from this part of the chalk cliffs

Two people at Old Harry Rocks
Swanage Coastguard

The pair were asked by Swanage Coastguard to come back from the edge at Old Harry Rocks

Need the message to get out there

The volunteer Swanage Coastguard team say they need the message to get out there to stay away from cliff edges and for the warning to be heeded.

If in the event of a coastal emergency, the public need to ring 999 and ask for the coastguard.

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