Warning after man digs dangerously deep hole on Gorleston beach

Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of a man digging a hole on Gorleston beach. Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of a man digging a hole on Gorleston beach.

Friday, August 22, 2014
2:55 PM

Beach goers are being urged to be safe on the sand after a man was spotted digging a dangerously deep hole on Gorleston seafront.

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Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of a man digging a hole on Gorleston beach.Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of a man digging a hole on Gorleston beach.

Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of the man as he shovelled sand out of the pit, which he said was two feet above his head and could have easily collapsed.

The 55-year-old grandfather said a little girl, who was with the man and a woman, could also be seen running around the edge of the hole making the situation potentially even more dangerous.

Steven, who was on the seafront with his grandchildren yesterday when he spotted the family, is now urging visitors and locals alike to take care on the beach.

He said: “I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. Mother, and I assume her daughter, were playing happily together while the dad was digging a sand hole that was about two foot above is head. You could hardly see him.

Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of a man digging a hole on Gorleston beach.Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of a man digging a hole on Gorleston beach.

“The little girl, who couldn’t have been older than four, was running around the top edge of the hole.

“I just want to remind holidaymakers that it’s not sensible.”

Steven’s warning comes after Coastwatch volunteers stepped in to save a young girl from a 4ft deep hole on Caister beach in May.

A member of Caister’s National Coastwatch Institution watched as the girl “disappeared” inside the pit, which she and her family had dug in the sand.

Fearing the sides of the hole could have collapsed at any minute the watchkeeper stepped in and advised her family to get her out.

Volunteer Alan Perry said at the time: “People, especially those on holiday, don’t always see the dangers in front of them. We were up in the watchtower and we’d been keeping an eye on them, but it was when the girl got in and you couldn’t see her that we knew we had to step in.”

Steven, who used to work for a water company and has experience in excavating, echoed the Coastwatch warning.

“Part of my NVQ was to assess people digging trenches so I know about the dangers,” he added.

In August 2011, 15-year-old Paige Anderson, who was on holiday with her family from Kent, was airlifted to hospital after a 7ft hole she had been digging on Caister beach collapsed without warning.

Onlookers, including members of the public, police, paramedics, lifeboat crews and coastwatch volunteers, used their bare hands and shovels to reach her.

25 comments

  • Could someone explain to me why someone would want to spend their beach time digging a hole? I've seen this behaviour almost every time I go down to the beach and is seems almost pathological. I like the beach as a place to relax, not to engage in hard labour!

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    chamberlain

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • I am the watch keeper from Caister Coastwatch mentioned in the article. Just like to say I applaud Steve Gilders actions. Well done Steve.

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    ALED

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • You would have thought that people would have realised the dangers of digging holes on the beaches. but some people still don't get! time for more signage pointing out the dangers? CarlosDanger! (an appropriate name) You are already a potential victim along with others who do not see the folly of digging deep holes on the beach.

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    patrick

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • Steve Gilder, I take my hat off to you. Well done for highlighting a potentially dangerous situation. Lack of common dog on behalf of both parents in this case.

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    wes1975

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • Surely a man wouldn't wear shorts like that?

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    Rhombus

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • luanmapo, whether you like it or not, there is nothing illegal in anyone taking pictures of anyone else on a beach whether children or not . Anyone with a modern camera into photography that posts any besch or sea pic will probably include other people's children.

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    Ojustaboo

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • Steve, you did exactly the right thing. And you have used the electronic media to disseminate common sense. Respect to you.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • At No point did I set out to take photos of children. I was simply showing others the dangers of adults or parents doing something dam right stupid. And if one person or twenty thousand sees the Danger in the photographs then good. At least it's been worth it. If you look carefully at the Three photos you will see I've done my best not to identify individuals Children or Adults. Regarding Comments did I do something to report,or stop,the individuals concerned? I certainly did. Even better i hopefully have brought it back into the limelight allowing not one individual, but many others by reading this post. Regards Steve Gilder

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    Steve Gilder

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • A few years ago a young lad dug a hole in the sand on old hustanton beach that caved in on him sadly he was not found until the next day, so people please do not dig deep holes on the beaches it could be someone else that gets buried and dies

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    mickthedig

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • Thing is, what do you do when you see someone doing something really stupid? Go and tell the, obviously quite physically fit and motivated, dimbo that he's being a complete idiot in front of his woman and child, who he is obviously trying to impress? Good luck with that unless you are either incredibly charming and persuasive or a black belt in some marshal art. Call the police? For what? As I understand it being a complete moron is not currently an offence. If it were there would be a lot less posters on Archant's forums ;)

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    Cyril the Canary

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • I thought David and Samantha were holidaying in Cornwall?

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    One Horse Town

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • Come on then `concerned resident' - further to Rita's comment - did you actually do anything like speaking to the man and or calling the police?

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    wallywalnut

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • I posted earlier but post hasn't materialised. I remember years and years ago that 2 children died at Blakeney when they were digging a hole below a sandy cliff on the campsite. It collapsed on them and both were buried alive.

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    samphirelover

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • About 35 years ago I witnessed a small child being rescued from two large large holes that had been dug on California Sands and collapsed. I believe they were tunneling between the two holes.The child was blue when pulled out by the emergency services and I don't know to this day if he or she survived. Digging large holes in the beach is dangerous and life threatening. I applaud anyone who brings this to the public attention and hope everyone will take heed. I don't think the public knows how potentially fatal this can be.

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    Ruby

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • This was indeed a dangerous act, the hazards are known to most of us within industry, look on the HSE website or Google the fatalities caused by it globally! "Bystander Apathy" - The right thing is to intervene, but people either don't know how or are afraid of the consequences of their act.Hard to blame the onlooker in my book

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    The Lone Gunman

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • I don't know what's worse, the big hole or those hideous shorts.

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    Barny

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • how did he get out of the hole, did he have a ladder, and maybe he filled it in after he finished playing.

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    gerry mitson

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • So do I read this correctly ?The gentleman took the photograph,but took no other action.Was he waiting for the hole to cave in ?

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    Rita Adamson

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • Whilst I believe what this family are doing is potentially dangerous. I also do not agree with random people taking pictures of others including children and sending to the press. Violation of privacy springs to mind, they are not criminals! What would have been more proactive is to alert the lifeguards or emergency services to deal with them. I would be furious if pictures of my children in their bathing costumes had been sent to the press.

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    luanmapo

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • I am old enough to remember 2 children being killed at Blakeney. They were digging a large hole at the base of a sandy cliff and it collapsed on them and they were buried alive. Very stupid man.

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    samphirelover

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • blister

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • There really are some idiots who ought not to be let out without full supervision.

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    ScotCan

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • The danger is the hole suddenly collapsing, burying the man alive. It happens all too often.

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    Lord Elf

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • The danger is when the tide comes in and said hole is covered, a small child paddling in what looks like a few inches of water and potential disaster.

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    John Bridge

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • Dear Mercury, I think we need guidelines on what constitutes a “dangerously large hole” is it purely related to hole depth, or are circumference and shape also taken into consideration. I wait patiently with my bucket and spade.

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    CarlosDanger

    Friday, August 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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