Home   Kent   News   Article

Climbers dice with death on Thanet's unstable chalk cliffs, coastguards warn

Margate coastguard Pete Overton: "People don't realise how dangerous these areas can be."
Margate coastguard Pete Overton: "People don't realise how dangerous these areas can be."

People climbing on Thanet’s unstable chalk cliffs are dicing with death according to coastguards.

Serious warnings have been made after a climber was stuck at Broadstairs.

Coastguard Pete Overton is urging visitors to the coast to be careful on, above or below the miles of cliffs around the area.

His caution has been echoed by Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Two fire appliances went to the rescue of a local man in his 20s.

He had been showing off his climbing “skills” to his girlfriend when he became stuck in a small cave halfway up the cliff face at Lanthorne Road.

Firefighters carried a seven metre ladder across the beach to help the man down.

Margate watch manager Paul Ward said: “It appears the gentleman was showing everyone how good at climbing he was by climbing into a chalk cave, around 35ft up the cliff face.

“To his shame and horror he was too nervous to climb down.

“People don’t realise how dangerous these areas can be.”

The coastguard was also alerted to the incident.

Mr Overton said: “Some of the cliffs around here are very dangerous. The chalk can become friable, which means loose and crumbly. Some of the cliffs are undercut near the edge at the top and from time to time chalk breaks away in big chunks.

“It is not safe to go close to the edge, particularly where the cliff is unfenced.

“The sea also undercuts and erodes cliffs at the bottom.

“The archway at Kingsgate will become a stack soon.”

Another issue near cliffs was lack of local knowledge. Mr Overton said there was a safe way out of the back of the Broadstairs cave.

It was possible to walk through the cave, over a hump and down a gentle slope to get out.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More