Risking their lives for the ‘perfect selfie’: Moment couple pose for photo on 19inch wide cliff path with 120ft drop either side
- Man and woman were pictured in dangerous moment at Old Harry Rocks, Dorset
- The unknown pair were just one misstep away from plummeting to their deaths
- Photograph of the risky moment was taken by someone fishing on Sunday night
- It came as at least six people died in separate drowning tragedies in England
This is the moment a man and a woman were pictured trying to take the ‘perfect selfie’ on a knife-edge cliff-top which measured just 19 inches wide – with a sheer drop of 120ft either side.
The young man, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, was then seen posing for a solo shot as the woman snapped away on her smartphone, both just one small misstep away from plummeting to their deaths on the jagged rocks below.
The incident happened at the top of Old Harry Rocks – a set of iconic rock formations near Swanage, Dorset – on Sunday.
The dangerous stunt came as at least six others drowned across England over what was the hottest weekend of the year so far – while two died from a heart attack and heat stroke while playing sports in the searing temperatures.
The influx of tourists stretched emergency services to the limit on Saturday and Sunday, prompting several warnings against reckless behaviour.
A Swanage Coastguard spokesman said: ‘The photograph was taken by someone fishing at 8pm near Old Harry Rocks.
Dangerous moment couple pose for pics on a cliff edge in Dorset on Sunday as experts plead for Brits to behave responsibly in the summer weather
The cliff edges of Old Harry Rocks in Dorset where the couple were seen posing for pictures (circled in red) – and where one small misstep could have seen them plummet to their deaths
A Swanage Coastguard spokesman said the chalk making up the cliffs in Dorset (pictured) can easily cause someone to slip, particularly in high temperatures
‘We went to the area the following day and spoke to members of the public and asked people to stay away from the cliff edge.
‘The cliff, which the man was on the edge of, was no wider than 50cms.
‘As the temperatures rise, it becomes even more dangerous because the cliff is made of chalk.
‘The heat can erode this material especially when stood on – and people can slip very easily.
‘The cliff edge looks like a path, but it isn’t – there is a drop at each side and it’s extremely dangerous.
‘The two people did not just put their lives at risk, but could potentially put others at risk who may have to save them.
‘It may seem like a spot to get the perfect selfie, but a sudden slip can be fatal.
‘We’re urging people to stay away from the cliff edge and to make sure it’s not the last photo you take.’
The appeal came as a holidaymaker in his 40s died in front of his family after he slipped and fell while climbing a 200ft cliff, also in Dorset.
The tourist climbed part-way up the Stair Hole at Lulworth Cove when he slipped and fell on Sunday.
An air ambulance, coastguards, lifeboat crew and police rushed to the scene at around 6.30pm but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Meanwhile six other people are now known to have died in separate drowning incidents across England on Sunday.
Bodies were pulled from waters in Sheffield, Manchester, Yorkshire and Cumbria in what was the hottest day of the year so far.
The latest victim was revealed this afternoon as a man whose body was recovered from a disused quarry in Dove Holes, Buxton, Derbyshire on Sunday evening.
Derbyshire police said they were called to the Victory Quarry at around 7pm last night, following reports that a man had entered the water and ‘found himself in difficulty.’
Emergency services located a body at just before midnight at Crookes Valley Park in Sheffield, where the fire service had rushed to the scene (pictured)
The six tragic drownings across England over the past weekend as Brits took to unsafe disused quarries and lakes to cool off in the sizzling temperatures
The force said firefighters and paramedics also attended the scene and ‘despite extensive search and rescue efforts, the man’s body was recovered from the water shortly before 11pm.’
In a plea for no further tragedies, group manager at the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service Paul Hawker said: ‘When the weather is hot, we know people are tempted to cool down by swimming and jumping into open water, however no matter how warm the weather is, the water remains cold which can cause the body to go into cold water shock, making it difficult for even the strongest swimmer.
‘Hidden rocks and debris can also pose a threat as swimmers can easily get tangled and trapped.
‘Yesterday there were over 200 people at Waterswallows Quarry, not far from Victory Quarry, and no-doubt countless others at quarries, reservoirs and rivers across the county.
‘Despite repeated prevention messages and visits from the emergency services at known risks in the local area advising of the danger of swimming in flooded quarries where depth change can be quite sudden, it really is sad than a man has lost his life in such tragic circumstances.
‘With the hot weather set to continue and lockdown restrictions now lifted, we know people will be out and about enjoying the sunshine but ask that people stay safe and stay out of the water.’
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