REGIONAL: Major search after beach cliff collapse

Coastguard GV
Coastguard GV
Fareham Borough Council leader, cllr Sean Woodward with parliamentary under-secretary of state from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dr Th�r�se Coffey MP

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A search operation has been launched by firefighters and the coastguard after a large cliff fall although no-one has been reported missing.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service says it has been called in to support the Coastguard in the search at Seaford Head which happened at 4.18pm on Wednesday.

The fire service has scrambled its rope rescue and technical rescue units to the scene.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has confirmed that there are no reports of any missing people in the area but a search is under way because of the 'sheer scale' of the cliff fall.

A spokesman said Newhaven and Birling Gap Coastguard Rescue Teams, the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lydd, were currently at the scene.

Kaimes Beasley, duty controller for the UK Coastguard, said: 'We will continue to search this area until we are satisfied, along with the other emergency services involved, that no one has been injured or trapped in this fall.

'We are advising beach goers to keep away from the scene and we are currently cordoning off the area in the interests of public safety.

'I cannot stress enough that this rock fall clearly shows how unstable cliff edges can be, so please keep your distance from cliff edges, at both the top and the bottom of the cliffs, at all times.'