Young woman airlifted to hospital after Happisburgh cliff fall

The Air Ambulance landing at Happisburgh beach to reports of a cliff falling on a woman. Picture: Su

The Air Ambulance landing at Happisburgh beach to reports of a cliff falling on a woman. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Submitted

A young woman has been airlifted to hospital after a cliff fall in north Norfolk.

The cliff fall at Happisburgh. Picture: Archant

The cliff fall at Happisburgh. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

What should've been a sunny Friday afternoon on the beach turned to disaster after a young woman had to be airlifted to hospital, having been injured by falling cliff debris.

The incident occurred at Happisburgh beach in north Norfolk, when a large amount of clay-based rock fell off the cliff.

The East of England Air Ambulance were called to the scene at 4.30pm, with the patient being airlifted to hospital in a stable condition around 40 minutes later.

The land ambulance and Bacton Coastguard Rescue team were also at the scene.

The incident prompted a warning from officials of the sea and land alike.

A spokesman for the UK Coastguard said: 'We would like to issue a safety warning and tell all visitors to stay away from the cliffs, and of course stay well away from the edges if you are walking on the top of the cliffs.'

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Denise Burke is one of the parish councillors for Happisburgh, and is also a local resident. She said: 'It is very sad that this has happened, and we don't want to see anything else like this occur again.

'I know that in the weeks running up to, and on the day of this incident, the coastguards were telling people at the beach

to stay away from the cliff


The 61-year-old said: 'This isn't the worst we've seen, but it is the first time any one has been injured. The cliffs are made of very wet, clay-based rock and are disintegrating all the time. These huge boulders fall from quite a height and are more than enough to knock someone out or bury them.'

Mrs Burke continued: 'Even as we were there witnessing the woman being air lifted to hospital, there were still two families in pop-up tents up against the cliffs who didn't move until they were moved on by the coastguard.

'We see parents letting their children scramble up the cliffs, and even children writing on the cliffs. I think they don't realise how dangerous it is.'

She added: 'We're into the school holidays now, and with the warm weather and the lighthouse being open the village will be very busy. But there's plenty of beach for everyone to share without anyone needing to sit at the base of the cliffs. If there's anything that can be learned from this, it's that not only do we need to respect the sea this summer, but also our cliffs.'

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