Photo of youngsters dangling legs over cliff edge sparks outrage

A group of youngsters were seen dangling their legs over the egde of cliffs at Seven Sisters. Photo by Patrick Goff. SUS-150715-104536001
A group of youngsters were seen dangling their legs over the egde of cliffs at Seven Sisters. Photo by Patrick Goff. SUS-150715-104536001

A photo of a group of youngsters dangling their legs over the cliff edge at Seven Sisters has sparked outrage on social media.

The image, taken by photographer Patrick Goff, was shared on Facebook and Twitter and provoked an angry reaction from members of the public, while also forcing coastal safety and rescue teams to reiterate messages about the dangers of cliffs.

Stephen Hughes-Landers posted a video of his acrobatics on top of Beachy Head. SUS-150715-104858001

Stephen Hughes-Landers posted a video of his acrobatics on top of Beachy Head. SUS-150715-104858001

Newhaven Coastguards shared the “worrying photograph” to their Facebook page on Sunday (July 12).

Kelly Jayne commented: “Ridiculous! Guess who are the first people they would call if it went wrong? They have no idea of the authorities they would put at risk to rescue them either - makes me so angry.”

Mercedes Burleigh added: “Utter stupidity! Lucky to get away without any mishap.”

Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team also shared the photograph with a statement urging people to stay safe.

It said: “The chalk cliffs that make up part of the South Downs National Park are iconic and stunning. However, sitting on the edge is simply dangerous due to the unstable nature of the cliff edge.

“If you are visiting Beachy Head or any other location similar please refrain from sitting on or coming too close to the cliff edges. In particular, if you have any foreign students staying with you this summer, please advise them not to do this as most language schools include a visit to Beachy Head as part of their programme.

“Enjoy visiting the area, enjoy the stunning scenery but please take note of the dangers too. All those who work in and serve the area want visitors to enjoy their visit and then return home safely.”

Also during the week, a video emerged of Stephen Hughes-Landers performing acrobatic stunts on a bar situated just inches away from the cliff edge at Beachy Head.

Kerrie Beck said: “Selfish act. The coastguards and lifeboat crew are under enough pressure, they don’t people doing this! This could have been shown away from the edge. The beach would of been a better choice! Think first!”

Stephen, who is part of calisthenics group BarStarzz, took to social media to defend his actions. He said: “At no point was I encouraging anything dangerous. It’s simply to show the beauty of training outdoors. It was a controlled shoot. Both the coast patrol and police stopped and allowed us to continue without question. We would not have set up if there was a risk.

“Yes, I’m aware of the cliff erosion. We took all into consideration when assessing the location. Thank you all for your concern. It’s appreciated sincerely.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.