Off his Beachy Head: man dangles legs over precipice of crumbling cliffs

The man laughs a he dangles his legs off Beachy Head

The full picture

First published in News
Last updated
Exclusive by , Crime reporter

A man was spotted posing for a picture while dangling his legs off Beachy Head.

The shocking photograph shows the man sat very close to the eroding chalk cliff top edge this weekend.

Martin Stitchener, 40, who captured the photograph said he was “stunned” by what he saw.

He told how he was celebrating his 40th birthday on Saturday when he saw a group “playing about” close to the edge of the cliff.

Mr Stitchener, of south London, said the group in the photo were taking it in turns to sit on the edge to take photos of each other.

He said: “Others on the cliffs were trying to avoid the group and looked stunned at the risks they were taking.

“I honestly could not believe that somebody would put themselves at such risk for a photo. You are a long time dead if you fall over that edge.”

A spokesman for Eastbourne RNLI said he was “horrified” by the picture.

He said: “It is so, so dangerous. I have seen the state of the cliffs. The erosion is terrible as a result of the rainfall. Parts of the cliff are falling away.

“You could easily lose your footing or be blown.”

A spokesman from Eastbourne Borough Council added: “We always strongly advise visitors to the cliffs at Beachy Head, and all along the Seven Sisters, to stay well back from the cliff edge.

“This warning is particularly important following weeks of rain which has resulted in rock falls and slips such as those seen at Birling Gap in which large sections of the cliff face have fallen into the sea.

“We are calling on visitors to pay close attention to warning signs that are in place.”

It is estimated that since January the chalk cliff at Birling Gap - just half a mile from Beachy Head - has suffered seven years of erosion and a series of chalk falls in recent weeks.

The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, which patrols the cliffs, did not respond to The Argus's requests for a comment yesterday.

However, there is no suggestion the image shows a suicide attempt.

Do you know the man in the picture? Contact news@theargus.co.uk or contact 01273 544512.

Comments (26)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:15am Thu 13 Mar 14

madzukun88 says...

wht is this news?!
wht is this news?! madzukun88
  • Score: -6

8:35am Thu 13 Mar 14

Juleyanne says...

Isn't it about time that it was made an offence to endanger yourself and others who might put themselves in danger trying to rescue you! The enormous cost to emergency services who might have to launch lifeboats, helicopters, police and climbing teams should surely make this viable. This would not be appropriate for attempted suicide, but in cases of pure stupidity
like this it might act as a deterrant.
Isn't it about time that it was made an offence to endanger yourself and others who might put themselves in danger trying to rescue you! The enormous cost to emergency services who might have to launch lifeboats, helicopters, police and climbing teams should surely make this viable. This would not be appropriate for attempted suicide, but in cases of pure stupidity like this it might act as a deterrant. Juleyanne
  • Score: 7

8:36am Thu 13 Mar 14

westpiergone says...

Darwin Award !
Darwin Award ! westpiergone
  • Score: 32

9:11am Thu 13 Mar 14

qm says...

Even lemmings have rights . . . . . another who wants to wear an "I learned the hard way" T shirt!
Even lemmings have rights . . . . . another who wants to wear an "I learned the hard way" T shirt! qm
  • Score: 11

9:13am Thu 13 Mar 14

Tallywhacker says...

Juleyanne wrote:
Isn't it about time that it was made an offence to endanger yourself and others who might put themselves in danger trying to rescue you! The enormous cost to emergency services who might have to launch lifeboats, helicopters, police and climbing teams should surely make this viable. This would not be appropriate for attempted suicide, but in cases of pure stupidity
like this it might act as a deterrant.
How far would the new law go? Sailing in rough weather, hiking without proper clothing, mountain climbing, swimming out too far? There are countless ways people can be hurt or killed and it could be said it's their own fault. If he falls he falls, it would at least stop him paddling in shallow end of the gene pool.
[quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: Isn't it about time that it was made an offence to endanger yourself and others who might put themselves in danger trying to rescue you! The enormous cost to emergency services who might have to launch lifeboats, helicopters, police and climbing teams should surely make this viable. This would not be appropriate for attempted suicide, but in cases of pure stupidity like this it might act as a deterrant.[/p][/quote]How far would the new law go? Sailing in rough weather, hiking without proper clothing, mountain climbing, swimming out too far? There are countless ways people can be hurt or killed and it could be said it's their own fault. If he falls he falls, it would at least stop him paddling in shallow end of the gene pool. Tallywhacker
  • Score: 27

9:33am Thu 13 Mar 14

Rocco10 says...

The only thing that causes me concern is the recent record of rockfalls. If it wasn't for that this would be perfectly fine. That is until the Heath and Safety bunch get their teeth into things. That's why Pulpit Rock in Norway is so special.
The only thing that causes me concern is the recent record of rockfalls. If it wasn't for that this would be perfectly fine. That is until the Heath and Safety bunch get their teeth into things. That's why Pulpit Rock in Norway is so special. Rocco10
  • Score: -5

11:16am Thu 13 Mar 14

anon01273 says...

No biggie. He knows he's doing it entirely at his own risk, so NOT my problem. Nobody is making him. If he falls down, his mates will learn something. Good.
No biggie. He knows he's doing it entirely at his own risk, so NOT my problem. Nobody is making him. If he falls down, his mates will learn something. Good. anon01273
  • Score: 8

11:46am Thu 13 Mar 14

s&k says...

Health and Safety gone mad. Blame Brussels.
Health and Safety gone mad. Blame Brussels. s&k
  • Score: 2

11:48am Thu 13 Mar 14

monkeymoo says...

Juleyanne wrote:
Isn't it about time that it was made an offence to endanger yourself and others who might put themselves in danger trying to rescue you! The enormous cost to emergency services who might have to launch lifeboats, helicopters, police and climbing teams should surely make this viable. This would not be appropriate for attempted suicide, but in cases of pure stupidity
like this it might act as a deterrant.
Perhaps think before posting!

As Tallywhacker says:
Where would you draw the line?
Driving your car in wet weather? Not wearing a seat belt on a bus? Hiking without carrying all types of clothing for all types of weather? Skiing 'off piste'?

Your world would be a very boring place to live!
[quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: Isn't it about time that it was made an offence to endanger yourself and others who might put themselves in danger trying to rescue you! The enormous cost to emergency services who might have to launch lifeboats, helicopters, police and climbing teams should surely make this viable. This would not be appropriate for attempted suicide, but in cases of pure stupidity like this it might act as a deterrant.[/p][/quote]Perhaps think before posting! As Tallywhacker says: Where would you draw the line? Driving your car in wet weather? Not wearing a seat belt on a bus? Hiking without carrying all types of clothing for all types of weather? Skiing 'off piste'? Your world would be a very boring place to live! monkeymoo
  • Score: 10

12:23pm Thu 13 Mar 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

This area should be fenced off, if nothing else to stop suicides.
This area should be fenced off, if nothing else to stop suicides. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: -17

12:57pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Mrs Newcastle says...

Photoshop?????
Photoshop????? Mrs Newcastle
  • Score: -4

1:01pm Thu 13 Mar 14

FatherTed11 says...

wow...big news
wow...big news FatherTed11
  • Score: -1

1:11pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Lionsgate666 says...

In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!!
In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!! Lionsgate666
  • Score: 8

1:20pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Mr chock says...

Lionsgate666 wrote:
In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!!
ohh nooo i sometimes cross the road in west street when the green man is flashing too it might make the news ... Argus reports on some amazing stories but this guy in the photo is just sitting on the cliff let him do what he likes " i have done exactly the same thing Newhaven fort is a fun place to explore and the construction at Seaford cliffs .. one last thought if he fall or if the cliff had given way would the RNLI have come and rescued him ?
[quote][p][bold]Lionsgate666[/bold] wrote: In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!![/p][/quote]ohh nooo i sometimes cross the road in west street when the green man is flashing too it might make the news ... Argus reports on some amazing stories but this guy in the photo is just sitting on the cliff let him do what he likes " i have done exactly the same thing Newhaven fort is a fun place to explore and the construction at Seaford cliffs .. one last thought if he fall or if the cliff had given way would the RNLI have come and rescued him ? Mr chock
  • Score: 2

1:32pm Thu 13 Mar 14

thevoiceoftruth says...

Mr chock wrote:
Lionsgate666 wrote:
In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!!
ohh nooo i sometimes cross the road in west street when the green man is flashing too it might make the news ... Argus reports on some amazing stories but this guy in the photo is just sitting on the cliff let him do what he likes " i have done exactly the same thing Newhaven fort is a fun place to explore and the construction at Seaford cliffs .. one last thought if he fall or if the cliff had given way would the RNLI have come and rescued him ?
The emergency services would have had to go and retrieve his body - not a pleasant job for them and an expensive one.
[quote][p][bold]Mr chock[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lionsgate666[/bold] wrote: In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!![/p][/quote]ohh nooo i sometimes cross the road in west street when the green man is flashing too it might make the news ... Argus reports on some amazing stories but this guy in the photo is just sitting on the cliff let him do what he likes " i have done exactly the same thing Newhaven fort is a fun place to explore and the construction at Seaford cliffs .. one last thought if he fall or if the cliff had given way would the RNLI have come and rescued him ?[/p][/quote]The emergency services would have had to go and retrieve his body - not a pleasant job for them and an expensive one. thevoiceoftruth
  • Score: 5

4:04pm Thu 13 Mar 14

IratusFurcifer says...

We really need to give way to natural selection a lot more! Let these idiots kill themselves! It's just an utter shame that the not so stupid among us are left to foot the bill and risk lives clearing up after these morons.
We really need to give way to natural selection a lot more! Let these idiots kill themselves! It's just an utter shame that the not so stupid among us are left to foot the bill and risk lives clearing up after these morons. IratusFurcifer
  • Score: 6

6:00pm Thu 13 Mar 14

LeonBIank666 says...

Whilst this man is clearly an inbred, I suggest you drive on the A23 or A27 any day of the week and you will see hundreds (YES HUNDREDS) of idiots who are putting their life in much greater danger. And also the lives of innocent commuters and passengers.

I also suggest you visit any disco in Brighton on a Friday or Saturday night and will see hundreds of teenagers putting their life at greater risk by taking foul drugs or drinking so much they collapse in the street.

Not being a health and safety geek but this is not really a story!
Whilst this man is clearly an inbred, I suggest you drive on the A23 or A27 any day of the week and you will see hundreds (YES HUNDREDS) of idiots who are putting their life in much greater danger. And also the lives of innocent commuters and passengers. I also suggest you visit any disco in Brighton on a Friday or Saturday night and will see hundreds of teenagers putting their life at greater risk by taking foul drugs or drinking so much they collapse in the street. Not being a health and safety geek but this is not really a story! LeonBIank666
  • Score: 3

6:03pm Thu 13 Mar 14

somerandombloke says...

Mr chock wrote:
Lionsgate666 wrote:
In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!!
ohh nooo i sometimes cross the road in west street when the green man is flashing too it might make the news ... Argus reports on some amazing stories but this guy in the photo is just sitting on the cliff let him do what he likes " i have done exactly the same thing Newhaven fort is a fun place to explore and the construction at Seaford cliffs .. one last thought if he fall or if the cliff had given way would the RNLI have come and rescued him ?
No the RNLI, wouldn't come and rescue him. The RNLI would come and pick up a body that had smashed onto the beach 500 feet below. It's too late when your on your way down to think, maybe I shouldn't have done that.
[quote][p][bold]Mr chock[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lionsgate666[/bold] wrote: In other news; Two persons were seen with their arms raised in the air on a roller coaster ride, posing for the cameras. They have now been arrested. Also, 15 people were spotted crossing the road at West Street when the lights were still red. The cheeky b*st*rds!![/p][/quote]ohh nooo i sometimes cross the road in west street when the green man is flashing too it might make the news ... Argus reports on some amazing stories but this guy in the photo is just sitting on the cliff let him do what he likes " i have done exactly the same thing Newhaven fort is a fun place to explore and the construction at Seaford cliffs .. one last thought if he fall or if the cliff had given way would the RNLI have come and rescued him ?[/p][/quote]No the RNLI, wouldn't come and rescue him. The RNLI would come and pick up a body that had smashed onto the beach 500 feet below. It's too late when your on your way down to think, maybe I shouldn't have done that. somerandombloke
  • Score: 1

7:00pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Larry the Lamb says...

I think he is off his Beachy Head !!!
I think he is off his Beachy Head !!! Larry the Lamb
  • Score: 5

8:52pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Freeloaders. says...

"The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, which patrols the cliffs, did not respond to The Argus's requests for a comment yesterday However, there is no suggestion the image shows a suicide attempt"
The relevance of this comment is..........God knows!,
"The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, which patrols the cliffs, did not respond to The Argus's requests for a comment yesterday However, there is no suggestion the image shows a suicide attempt" The relevance of this comment is..........God knows!, Freeloaders.
  • Score: 1

11:50pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Juleyanne says...

Last year I saw a group of dingbats doing hand stands literally on the edge of the cliff, they were daring each other to do this. They were downing beer and probably a little the worse for wear. Some people walking by with their dogs and a jogger called police. Several police attended and demanded they climb back over the fence to the safer side. One was so drunk he got caught in the fence and fell flat on his face.
The consequences could have been very different had there not been a response from the public and police.
Last year I saw a group of dingbats doing hand stands literally on the edge of the cliff, they were daring each other to do this. They were downing beer and probably a little the worse for wear. Some people walking by with their dogs and a jogger called police. Several police attended and demanded they climb back over the fence to the safer side. One was so drunk he got caught in the fence and fell flat on his face. The consequences could have been very different had there not been a response from the public and police. Juleyanne
  • Score: 1

12:50am Fri 14 Mar 14

clementsphil says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
This area should be fenced off, if nothing else to stop suicides.
And how would that work? Umpteen miles of fencing? How far from the cliff edge so that it doesn't just fall off the edge with the next cliff fall?

Parts of the head are fenced - people who are desperate enough just climb over and keep walking or move to the nearest unfenced bit and jump there.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: This area should be fenced off, if nothing else to stop suicides.[/p][/quote]And how would that work? Umpteen miles of fencing? How far from the cliff edge so that it doesn't just fall off the edge with the next cliff fall? Parts of the head are fenced - people who are desperate enough just climb over and keep walking or move to the nearest unfenced bit and jump there. clementsphil
  • Score: 1

8:46am Fri 14 Mar 14

Juleyanne says...

That is my view Monkeymoo. I reserve my right to a democratic opinion, deal with it!
That is my view Monkeymoo. I reserve my right to a democratic opinion, deal with it! Juleyanne
  • Score: -2

10:20am Fri 14 Mar 14

wendy-uk says...

The man leaning out to take a photo is probably in more danger but they are all grown men and if they're stupid enough to do it, it's their responsibility.
The man leaning out to take a photo is probably in more danger but they are all grown men and if they're stupid enough to do it, it's their responsibility. wendy-uk
  • Score: -1

8:20am Sat 15 Mar 14

monkeymoo says...

Juleyanne wrote:
That is my view Monkeymoo. I reserve my right to a democratic opinion, deal with it!
Yawn
[quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: That is my view Monkeymoo. I reserve my right to a democratic opinion, deal with it![/p][/quote]Yawn monkeymoo
  • Score: 2

11:00pm Sun 16 Mar 14

monkeymoo? says...

Juleyanne wrote:
That is my view Monkeymoo. I reserve my right to a democratic opinion, deal with it!
I beg your pardon,i never said a word...jeez
[quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: That is my view Monkeymoo. I reserve my right to a democratic opinion, deal with it![/p][/quote]I beg your pardon,i never said a word...jeez monkeymoo?
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree