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Warning for walkers on White Cliffs of Dover after Maritime and Coastguard Agency sees photo of adults and children on a brink

Coastguards have warned walkers to keep off cliff edges after a family with small children were seen right on the brink.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have put out the warning after it was passed a hair-raising photograph of a man bending over the edge taking a photograph.

With him is a small boy, who appears to be sitting on the edge, a woman on her hands and knees looking down at the drop and a little girl just a couple of feet back.

The Dover cliffs can crumble without warning.
The Dover cliffs can crumble without warning.

The picture was taken near Eastbourne but there have been several instances of walkers coming too close to the edge at the White Cliffs of Dover, prompting the warning being shared on social media in Kent.

The MCA warning, put out last Friday May 4, has been shared on the Facbook page Dover for Dovorians.

It comes as more walkers return to the cliffs at Langdon in the summertime, with longer periods of daylight and better weather.

Year after year there have been repeated sightings of people sitting or standing right on the brink of the cliffs, which could crumble underneath them and lead to them falling hundreds of feet to their death.

The warning by the MCA, on its own Facebook page, said:"Please please please - we can't stress enough how important it is to keep back from cliff edges. No photograph or selfie is worth risking your life for.

"We want you to enjoy the stunning scenery but the cliffs along the coastline are continually eroding, with pieces falling from them that can be just a few small rocks or as large as a car.

The MCA says that it is impossible to predict when the next piece of chalk cliff might fall or how big it will be.

Intense rainfall often makes cliff edges more fragile and there have been a number of coastline cliff collapses in the UK in recent months.

The MCA posting says:"Some of the cracks that have appeared have been several feet away from the edge.

"Don’t be tempted to go and investigate and don’t risk going to the edge to get a dramatic picture or a selfie."

A man sits on the brink to be photographed, 2017. Picture: Ted Prangnell.
A man sits on the brink to be photographed, 2017. Picture: Ted Prangnell.

Last summer walker Ted Prangnell took several pictures of people standing or sitting right on the edge of the Dover cliffs.

And in 2016 the MCA issued an image of a boy balancing on one foot on a fence post just above a sheer drop.

A boy teeters on a post on a cliff edge, 2016. Picture: Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
A boy teeters on a post on a cliff edge, 2016. Picture: Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The MCA's general advice for cliff walkers is to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they see anyone in difficulty or if they are in trouble themselves.

Coastal walkers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, stick to designated paths and check the weather forecast and tidal times before setting out.

Carry a fully charged mobile phone and tell someone where you are going and when you are coming back.

Never climb up and down cliffs unless hyou are properly equipped and trained.

For full details on safety advist visit the website.gov.uk/coastguardsafety.

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