Coastguard warns public after call-out to dangerous cliff activity in Pakefield

HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold were called to Pakefield Beach to provide safety advice to a f

HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold were called to Pakefield Beach to provide safety advice to a family digging holes into the cliff face. Photo: HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold. - Credit: Archant

The coastguard has issued a warning about the dangers of cliff collapse after responding to a series of call outs this summer.

A member of the coastguard team has called the cliffs at Pakefield Becah "an accident waiting to hap

A member of the coastguard team has called the cliffs at Pakefield Becah "an accident waiting to happen." Photo: HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold. - Credit: Archant

HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold were called to Pakefield Beach at 12.18pm on Friday, August 4, to provide safety advice to a family digging holes into the cliff face.

David Burwood, rescue officer, said: 'They had dug into the cliff face to shelter from the wind and provide themselves with a point to look out towards the sea.

'While that sounds nice they were actually putting themselves in a lot of danger.

'We have been called out plenty of times to give advice but this is the first time a member of the public alerted us because they thought what was happening was so dangerous.'

The coastguard are worried the public do not fully undersstand the risks involved when digging into

The coastguard are worried the public do not fully undersstand the risks involved when digging into the cliffs at Pakefield Beach. Photo: HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold. - Credit: Archant


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After the safety advice was given and the two adults and two children were moved on, the team returned back to the station.

A spokesman for the coastguard said: 'Digging holes into the side is complete madness and people are truly putting themselves at risk.

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'Please do not climb on the cliff faces and certainly do not dig into them. One wrong hole could cause the entire cliff front and top to come crashing down.

'The cliffs at Pakefield and Kessingland are very unstable as they are.'

HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold were called to Pakefield Beach to provide safety advice to a f

HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold were called to Pakefield Beach to provide safety advice to a family digging holes into the cliff face. Photo: HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold. - Credit: Archant

He added: 'It was only earlier this year in January that the team attended a fatality after the cliff at Thorpeness collapsed onto a gentleman and he unfortunately passed away.'

The coastguard say they are particularly concerned for public safety with the influx of tourists during the summer months who may not fully understand the risks the cliffs present.

Mr Burwood said: 'It's an accident waiting to happen – there is a lot of overhang on the cliff faces at Pakefield and Kessingland.

'Especially now with the summer holidays, children are constantly going to Pakefield Beach and digging.

'It is important that parents make sure they know if there children are going and that they are aware of the dangers.'

For more information on how to stay safe at the beach visit: www.gov.uk/coastguardsafety

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