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Brits warned over 'life-threatening' risk of sand dunes collapsing at popular beach

Brits warned over 'life-threatening' risk of sand dunes collapsing at popular beach

Crantock Beach near Newquay in Cornwall is hugely popular with tourists, but now the RNLI has issued a warning about dangerous dunes

Tourists who visit a popular beach in Cornwall are being asked to stay well away from some sand dunes because of the ‘life-threatening’ danger of collapse.

New fear unlocked - getting crushed to death by a falling wall of sand during a nice day at the beach.

Seriously though, if you plan on visiting this beach, you’d better heed this warning, because they’re not messing around.

You see, at Crantock - not far from the popular resort town of Newquay - there is currently an ‘increased danger’ of the huge ‘sheer cliffs’ of sand that make up their dunes collapsing and trapping people.

The reason this warning is one you should definitely take note of is because a 20-metre tall dune actually collapsed just the other day.

One of the sand dunes at Crantock collapsed earlier this week.
Lewis Timson/RNLI

On Wednesday (14 June), the huge pile of sand came tumbling down, and thankfully nobody was in the path of it.

This is because the recent dry weather is causing a shifting of the sands, while the surf that washes up against the bottom of the dunes has eroded it, carving out the bottom while the extremely heavy top remains.

This means that the top bit is now unstable, and could come tumbling down.

You don’t want to be anywhere near when that happens.

In an informative piece on their website, Newquay’s RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor Lewis Timson said: “Sand is extremely heavy, and in the event of the dune collapsing, there is an increased danger of becoming buried with potentially life-threatening consequences.”

He continued: “Despite the important, multi-agency training we have recently undertaken to rescue someone trapped under sand, we hope we do not face any incidents of this nature.

“Our focus is on ensuring people keep away from the sand dunes at Crantock.

“With the dry weather and surf of three to four foot expected the nature of the sand dune system is predicted to shift and remain unstable for the foreseeable future and risks collapse at any time.”

The lifeboat charity has put up some signs around the beach warning people of the danger posed by the dunes, and - as we’ve covered - you’d do well to take that warning on board.

Rescuing people from beneath dunes is a tricky business, involving many people making a human chain to pull the sand away from the person.

Crantock Beach is hugely popular with tourists.
Kevin Britland/Alamy Stock Photo

It also prevents further collapses whilst the person is being freed.

So, stay 50 metres away from the dunes and you should be OK.

At the same beach, there’s also the increased risk of rip tides to be concerned about, though if you swim in the right place - much like staying away from the dunes - you’ll almost certainly be completely fine.

Timson added: “With the change in direction of the river at Crantock which has increased the risk of rip currents in the water, I advise anyone visiting the beach to keep well clear from the dune system, swim between the red and yellow flags and please speak to our lifeguards if you have any concerns or questions.”

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/RNLI Lifeguards Newquay

Topics: UK News, Travel