York & North Yorkshire

Rock fall death girl Harriet Forster was 'light of our lives'

Harriet Emily Nicola Forster Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Harriet's family said she "was the light of our lives"

A nine-year-old girl who died from serious head injuries when rocks fell from a cliff at a beach was "the light of our lives", her family have said.

Harriet Emily Nicola Forster, from Oxford, was visiting Staithes with her family when the accident happened at Seaton Garth on Wednesday.

She was pronounced dead at the scene in North Yorkshire.

Her family said: "We ask that you give us time as a family to support each other through our indescribable pain."

Onlookers had described the fall, that they said was near warning signs about the cliff, as "particularly serious".

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Part of the beach at the popular tourist resort was cordoned off on Wednesday night. It has since reopened.

Image caption Warning signs are visible on the cliffs at Seaton Garth
Image copyright Barbara Govan/Twitter
Image caption An eyewitness said the beach was "teeming" at the time

Eyewitnesses said the beach had been particularly busy at the time, about 16:15 BST, and described seeing a "number of emergency vehicles", including fire engines, heading for the scene.

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said the beach was "teeming with people".

"I was on there with my grandchildren and we left just before this happened," she said.

"It is absolutely terrible what's happened.

"Fortunately, we had walked the other way."

A report about Harriet's death is being compiled on behalf of the coroner, said North Yorkshire Police.

The force is appealing for witnesses.

Image copyright Paul Allison/Geograph
Image caption Staithes, in North Yorkshire, is a popular tourist destination

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