Hampshire holidaymaker crushed to death by boulder as he set up hammock in Cornwall

A holidaymaker was crushed to death after a cliff collapsed while he was setting up a hammock.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 3:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 3:29 pm

The 66-year-old, who police have said is from East Hampshire, died while visiting the remote Stowe Cliffs at Sandymouth, near Bude in North Cornwall.

According to reports he was setting up a hammock when he brought down a tonne of rocks and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Devon and Cornwall Police have said that incident happened on Tuesday and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

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Sandymouth in Cornwall. Picture: Google Maps

The Times reports that the Hampshire man’s wife witnessed the incident and a senior officer for HM Coastguard said that she was ‘extremely traumatised’.

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The man’s body has been recovered from beneath a 1.5-tonne boulder by a specialist fire brigade rescue team.

An officer involved in the recovery operation told the Times: ‘It appears the man had been trying to set up a hammock. He had knocked a supporting rod into the cliff face but then, for whatever reason, the cliff collapsed.

‘You can still see the hammock straps but it's hard to be precise about the spot he chose. It is possible he tightened the hammock straps to the point that they somehow split the rock.’

BBC reports that a spokeswoman for the National Trust, which owns the beach, said: ‘We are sorry to hear of the incident at Sandymouth Beach and are supporting the emergency services in their work.’

The beach is one of the most remote in Cornwall and the only access by car is down a narrow single-track road.

Speaking to The Times, Heather Rugeley, who was visiting the beach from London, said: ‘We know the cliffs around here can be unstable.’

An air ambulance as well as coastguard rescue teams, paramedics, police and fire were all dispatched to the scene following the incident earlier this week.