It really beggars belief that despite warnings, plenty of media exposure, fencing (now vandalised) and warning notices that people seem determined to dare our cliffs to crumble when they are sitting on or near the edge or with the mania to take ‘selfies’.
Seaford Head is a classic example of people’s common place but not common sense behaviour but of course is not alone with cliff craziness or’ let’s walk underneath syndrome’.
If no other countries had cliffs it might be more understandable or there was no media exposure to the range of falls and instability warnings that are constantly being provided.
Obviously, if you step out into the road without looking you must expect to be injured or killed just as much as careless behaviour on a ladder or leaning over a balcony. Perhaps it’s the attitude that ‘this doesn’t apply to me or it won’t happen to me... it’s my human right!’
Not anyone’s right though to put the lives of the emergency services and volunteers in danger.
The dangers are obvious and no amount of notices in multiple languages will help either even if ‘common sense’ translates, so maybe a well photographed collection of bodies on the beach is the answer before notice is taken.
Perhaps just before we have recovery operations, it’s time for a new type of warning notice and I suggest that the danger sign for falling rocks is amended to show falling figures as well spread-eagled and upside down... otherwise designs could be read as ‘tombstone here’ or ‘abseil area’.
Look out for blue lights – pretty at Christmas but not on or near our cliffs... stretcher party?!