UPDATE: Search for woman after Seaford Head cliff fall is stood down

Seaford Head after a second cliff fall, photo by Eddie Mitchell
Seaford Head after a second cliff fall, photo by Eddie Mitchell

The coastguard says it has stood down its search for a woman at the scene of the second Seaford Head cliff fall today (Thursday).

Two rescue teams from Birling Gap and Newhaven launched a search and rescue operation after the incident at around 1.20pm.

Seaford Head today, photo by Eddie Mitchell

Seaford Head today, photo by Eddie Mitchell

Maritime and Coastguard Agency released an appeal for a woman’s whereabouts to establish she was not involved in the fall.

However, a spokesperson has now said the search has been stood down as reports confirmed the woman was seen walking away from the cliff fall safe an well.

They said: “We have received a report from a person on scene that the female in the pink top was seen walking away from the cliff fall safe and well.

“We have thoroughly searched the area as a precautionary measure, with a multitude of assets, and nothing untoward has been found.

“We have now stood the teams down and unless we receive any further information there are no plans to resume this search tonight.

“We are still advising people to stay away from the Seaford cliff area as it is not safe at the current time.”

This comes after an large cliff fall at the same spot just yesterday (Wednesday).

Mark Rodway OBE, maritime commander said: “The cliffs along the UK coastline are continually eroding and we’ve seen a number of cliff collapses in recent months – last night’s fall was several thousand tonnes and we are unsure at the current time of the exact scale of the one today.

“It’s impossible to predict when the next piece might fall or how big it will be. It’s very clear that cliffs are unstable in places and we really can’t stress enough how important it is to keep back from the edge. There is no ‘safe’ place to be.

“When standing at the bottom of the cliff, we would always advise people that they shouldn’t stand less than the height of the cliff away.

“That means if the cliff is 25 metres high, don’t go closer than 25 metres towards it. Don’t be tempted to go and investigate recent falls and don’t risk going to the edge to get a dramatic photo.

“One of our biggest problems is the ‘selfie-culture’ where people take risks to get a dramatic photograph of themselves on a dangerous cliff edge – no selfie is worth risking your life for. Use the designated paths, take notice of any warning signs and fences in place, be responsible and don’t take any unnecessary risks.

“And remember to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in case of coastal emergencies’”