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Dymchurch sea wall’s steps claim another victim as mum Anne Marie McClymont fractures spine in fall

By Sam Lennon

Anne Marie McClymont was so badly injured that she had to be flown home and says she fears the next accident could be fatal.

Mrs McClymont, 42, a mother-of-two, was alone walking her dog Harvey on her family’s first morning at Sun Beach Retreat in Sycamore Gardens.

Anne Marie McClymont, latest victim of the Dymchurch sea wall steps, pictured with her sons Gabriel, 12, and Louis, 15.

Anne Marie McClymont, latest victim of the Dymchurch sea wall steps, pictured with her sons Gabriel, 12, and Louis, 15.

She had heeded the warning signs but still fell.

She said: “I went carefully down the 20-plus steps that run along the length of the beach for about 2km, wearing trainers with grips.

“But I slipped and lost my footing about three-quarters of the way down, Harvey was off his lead and gone on ahead, the beach was virtually deserted with no one in shouting distance, I hadn’t taken my mobile phone with me so I had to literally crawl on my hands and knees back to the house.

The slippery Dymchurch sea wall

The slippery Dymchurch sea wall

“I landed on my back with no other part of my body breaking the fall. At the time I though I had suffered internal injuries due to intense pain from back running round to my chest and I was struggling to breath.”

Mrs McClymont’s husband Scott called for an ambulance and she was taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford where an X-ray revealed a compressed and fractured vertebrae in her spine.

She was not allowed to travel back to her home in Scotland by car so Mr McClymont, arranged for her to be flown home.

She is concerned that others trying to access the beach may not be as lucky as her as a CT scan highlighted a compressed and fractured vertebrae that had fortunately jutted out away from her spinal cord.

A warning sign for Dymchurch's sea wall steps

A warning sign for Dymchurch's sea wall steps

She is on morphine and Cocodomol pain killers, is advised to lay flat as much as possible, not walk or move and will not be able to return to work until January at the earliest.

Mrs McClymont is a primary school head teacher in Airdrie.

Dymchurch Parish Council has had previous complaints of falls and has asked the Environment Agency, which is responsible for the wall and steps, to do something to improve their safety.


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