‘Completely irresponsible’ – that’s how North Yorkshire Police described two campers who pitched their tent perilously close to the edge of a cliff near Whitby at the weekend.
A member of the public alerted the coastguard to the danger after spotting the tent just metres from a sheer drop near to Port Mulgrave on the Cleveland Way.
Today, police revealed that they had fined the two adults for breaching the coronavirus regulations.
And a force spokesperson also criticised the pair – who were with a child – for putting their own lives in danger, and potentially those of any rescuers too.
Police said they were contacted at 1.30pm on Saturday (27 February) by the Coastguard. Officers issued fines to a 27-year-old woman from Doncaster and a 30-year-old man from Middlesbrough.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Everyone is aware of the current restrictions that are in place to stay at home to stop the spread of Covid, so to travel from Middlesbrough and Doncaster with the intention to camp overnight is obviously a clear breach of the regulations.
“But to then choose to pitch a tent in such a dangerous location is completely irresponsible.
“Not only were the individuals involved risking their own safety and the safety of the child who was with them, if a landslide had occurred, they would also be risking the lives of the emergency services who would attend the resulting incident.
“Our thanks go to the member of the public who reported their concerns and to our Coastguard colleagues who also attended. Their actions may have averted a completely preventable tragedy.”
In a statement on Facebook, Staithes Coastguard said: “Safety advice was given from Coastguard Rescue Officers due to the dangerous location of their tent, especially with recent landslips.”
They added: “If walking the Cleveland Way please stay on designated footpaths.”