2010 Incident #22 28.04.10 1752UTC #1456

An off duty coastguard rescue officer reported seeing five persons cut off by a high spring tide on the cliffs 500 metres to the east of Charmouth.  The father realised that they would unable to reach safety after he lost his footing in quicksand near the base of one of the cliff falls.  The family then turned east endeavouring to reach the steps at St Gabriel’s, 2kms away.  Members of the coastguard team established a vantage point to keep the family under close observation.  Realising that they would be cut off by further landslips to the east, the coastguard asked the RNLI inshore lifeboat to attend.  The lifeboat managed to put ‘crew ashore’ and the casualties were safely escorted around the landslips to St Gabriel’s’ steps.  Here they were met by the coastguard and returned to their holiday accommodation in Charmouth.  The family were unaware of the tides and the associated risks of the local unstable coastline.

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