When you look at that rock face, on the left, you can imagine yourself walking beside it in the glorious sun. Yesterday that beautiful rock face turned into the most deadly thing going, a rock slide, which killed a 22 year old Charlotte Blackman.
Reports were emerging that her father and boyfriend were also partially buried and were pulled from the rubble but Charlotte was trapped underneath the 400 ton slide.
My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends at this sad and tragic time. Rest in Peace Charlotte.
It was only last year that we were in Dorset and we were strolling along beaches exactly like that one. Never in a million years did we think that a rock slide would or could happen. Those thoughts never entered our heads. And we were the lucky ones because nothing did happen whilst we were there.
But hearing tragedy like this one, makes you feel like grabbing life with both hands and doing all the things you have dreamed of, because we never know when we will be parting from this earth. We, as people, never know what fate bestows us.
A stroll along an idyllic beach with such spectacular scenery yesterday turned a family’s life into a living nightmare. What should have been a pleasant stroll turned into horror and grief of knowing someone they loved was trapped under a pile of rocks.
It is only just two weeks since another couple, Rosemary Snell, 67, and Michael Rolfe, 72, lost their lives in a landslide at Beaminster Tunnel just a few miles from yesterday’s tragedy.
Unfortunately though rock slides on our coastline are quite common. Only last year there was a massive rock slide in Cornwall and another at Newquay when 20 tons of rock fell onto the sands. Fate that day at Newquay could have played their dreadful hand, but didn’t thank god, as that particular slide was just yards from where two children were playing in the sand.
I know the weather is hot, and the beach is the ideal place to be, but please be careful. The emergency services believe that the recent torrential rain combined with this heatwave caused this landslide. If it can happen in one place there is a likelihood that other parts of our coastline could be unstable.. so when visiting the beach please be careful where you sit and where you stroll.
This bad weather has claimed too many lives to date, so just be extra careful.. so we don’t have to hear of more reports of people being trapped.
Jurrasic Coast have this warning on their website:
The exceptional rainfall in the last few months, culminating in the floods of 7th July has left the West Dorset cliffs in a more unstable condition than would normally be expected at this time of year.
There is a heightened risk of rock falls anywhere and at any time along the coast while landslides have delivered thick mudflows and quicksands to the beaches in many places. One of the hidden hazards is that the sea can wash sand and shingle over the mud and quicksand giving the appearance of a solid beach which is why we advise people to stay well clear of these hazards
Let this tragic loss of life be a lesson to us all, in that we all must be extra vigilant and careful when walking on our shores edge, especially if there are signs warning of the dangers of possible rock fall. Apart from putting ourselves in danger, we also put those that have to rescue us in danger too.