Edge of insanity?
A family in England has been chided by local authorities for foolishly setting up camp on the edge of a cliff.
On Saturday, the Staithes Coastguard scolded a family of three for pitching their tent on the Cleveland Way in North Yorkshire. The trio was just inches away from a 280-foot drop in an area known for landslides, the BBC reports.
A "concerned" member of the public phoned in the disaster waiting to happen around lunchtime, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency wrote on Facebook. From there, the Staithes and Whitby coast guards responded to the scene, discovering two adults and a child in the tent.
"The family were in an extremely perilous position with no idea of the extreme danger they were in," said Adam Turner, Senior Coastal Operations Officer for HM Coastguard. "Cliff edges are really unstable and can easily collapse as recent landslips in the area have shown."
The 27-year-old woman and 30-year-old man have also since been fined for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules to go camping, according to the BBC. The campers traveled from Doncaster and Middlesbrough, which are about 45 minutes and two hours from Cleveland Way, respectively.
North Yorkshire Police called it "completely irresponsible" to pitch a tent so close to the cliff’s edge and a clear breach of COVID-19 restrictions to intend to camp overnight.
"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," police said, per the outlet.
For area locals permitted to explore North Yorkshire under current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, Turner urged caution around the cliffs.
"Keep to paths and stay well back from the cliff edge. Check the weather and tides before you head out, wear appropriate sturdy footwear and take a fully charged mobile phone, so if the worst should happen you can call 999 and ask for the Coastguard," he said in a statement.