Seaford Head safety warning after cliff cracks

Coastguards have issued a new safety warning after a large and potentially dangerous cliff crack was reported at Seaford Head.

Newhaven Coastguard Rescue Team were sent to investigate the appearance of a potential fresh crack and Seaford Council were immediately informed on Sunday evening.

The crack at Seaford Head, photo by Eddie Mitchell

The crack at Seaford Head, photo by Eddie Mitchell

According to the coastguard, new safety perimeters have been erected for the protection of the public using the coastal path and coastal walkers are being urged to steer clear of the unstable area.

On further investigation it was confirmed to be an existing crack that had enlarged due to recent changes in weather conditions.

Mark Rodway OBE, Maritime Commander, said, “We are warning beach goers and coastal walkers to exercise caution in the Seaford cliffs area and keep away from the areas that have now been cordoned off.

“The cliffs along the UK coastline are continually eroding and we’ve seen a number of cliff collapses in recent months at Seaford. It’s impossible to predict when the next piece might fall or how big it will be.

The cliff fall at Seaford Head in June, photo by Eddie Mitchell

The cliff fall at Seaford Head in June, photo by Eddie Mitchell

“It’s very clear that cliffs are unstable in places and we really can’t stress enough how important it is to keep back from the edge. There is no ‘safe’ place to be.

“When standing at the bottom of the cliff, we would always advise people that they shouldn’t stand less than the height of the cliff away.

“That means if the cliff is 25 metres high, don’t go closer than 25 metres towards it. Don’t be tempted to go and investigate recent cracks or falls and don’t risk going to the edge to get a dramatic photo.

“One of our biggest problems is the ‘selfie-culture’ where people take great risks to get a dramatic photograph of themselves on a dangerous cliff edge – no selfie is worth risking your life for.

“Use the designated paths, take notice of any warning signs and fences in place, be responsible and don’t take any unnecessary risks. As ever, our message is, ‘Keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard’.”

In June, thousands of tonnes of chalk tumbled from Seaford Head cliffs onto the beach below, prompting a major emergency operation as services rushed to check no one had been hurt.

The above footage was taken by Eddie Mitchell.

For further advice on coastal safety visit www.gov.uk/coastguardsafety