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'Lucky no-one killed' after rock fall in Watchet

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image copyrightWatchet Coastguard
image captionSigns alerting visitors to the danger of falling rocks are in place at the beach
A coastguard says it is lucky no-one was killed or seriously injured after about five tonnes of rock fell from a cliff face onto a beach below.
Witnesses described hearing a "loud bang" similar to thunder when the rocks fell at St Audries Bay on Tuesday.
Watchet Coastguard Rescue Officer Simon Bale said a group of children had been playing at the base of the cliff only minutes before.
"It was down to luck that they moved when when they did," he added.
image copyrightWatchet Coastguard
image captionThe coastguard said more of the damaged cliff face could fall
The coastguard was called at about 15:20 BST to check the stability of the cliff face and that no-one was injured.
"These were big rocks, not soil, and there is still a large amount ready to fall.
"Luckily, a group of children who had been playing at the base of the cliff only minutes before had moved around the corner and avoided serious injury," said Mr Bale.
The rescue officer said rock falls were common and a danger in the area.
"They have become more regular of late, with some at Blue Anchor and at the harbour wall itself.
"When it's dry you can get cracks and then if you have a period of heavy rain or freezing weather it causes a problem," he added.
image copyrightWatchet Coastguard
image captionLarge rocks fell onto the beach at St Audries Bay near Watchet on Tuesday afternoon
Mr Bale said signs were in place to indicate the danger of falling rocks and that the team had reissued a warning to visitors to stay away from the cliff.
"Our advice is to heed the warning signs at the beach access points. Stay away from the base of the cliff the same distance as the cliff height and certainly don't allow any children to play below.
"In this case we were lucky there had not been any fatalities or serious injuries."

Related Topics

  • Coastal erosion
  • UK coastguards
  • Watchet

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