Coastguard called in to assess Kingsgate ‘substantial’ cliff fall

Kingsgate cliff fall Photo Nick Titcombe

HM Coastguard Margate were called to Kingsgate yesterday (January 31) after tonnes of ‘rock’ came down in a cliff fall

The crew were tasked by UK Coastguard to assess the rock fall. Once on scene they found a substantial fall of several tons.

HM Coastguard Margate said: “Without putting officers lives in danger we tried to assess to see if any other areas around it looked precarious. On closer inspection we could not 100% establish any other danger areas.

“After speaking to our control room they were going to notify the local council immediately for something to be done.

“Officers taped up the path leading down to the fall to stop people going down there.

“This time of the year cliffs can become very unstable, the mixture of lots of rain and frosty cold nights can cause water to get into the ground, freezing and causing gaps to expand. This can then lead to sudden cliff falls.

“Please if you are enjoying your exercise on the beach try to stay away from cliff bases and edges.”

Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council, added: “Thanet’s coastline is a wonderful place to enjoy your daily exercise but we can’t stress enough the importance of coastal safety. Our cliffs are a beautiful feature but are not indestructible. Natural occurrences like heavy rainfall, frosty nights and storms can weaken them, leaving some sections particularly vulnerable to cliff falls.

“We are therefore advising the public to take extra care when walking on clifftop paths or on the beach below. Please use common sense and caution – stay away from the edge and base of cliffs at all times and pay attention to any warning signs and safety messages. While walking along the beach, it’s always advisable to check the tide times and know the risks. Please take care and remember that a cliff face should never be seen as a shortcut.

“If you witness the start of a cliff slip, please vacate the area immediately and report it to the Coastguard.”

In a coastal emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard


  1. I’m guessing as they refer to a path leading down it is the narrow path down to the beach behind the Captain Digby. There was a bigger cliff fall there some years ago and they had to fence off part of the Digby car park.

    • There have been many collapses along there over the years, with new fencing put in place several times, ditto Pegwell Bay.

      Could be worse though: I lived on the Isle of Sheppey for a few years as an adolescent, and the local post office and stores had to be abandoned before it fell over the soft clay cliffs (many houses and at least two churches have disappeared from the North Sheppey coast over the years!).

  2. It’s amazing when you are standing on the cliff tops to realise in the distant past you would have been looking out on a land bridge to the continent which could be walked as well as actually standing on the seabed at a different time.

  3. “Please if you are enjoying your exercise on the beach try to stay away from cliff bases and edges.”
    There’s no question about it. Unless you want 1000 tonnes of chalk on your head, definitely stay away!
    You see all those chalk and flint boulders at the bottom of the cliff: guess where they came from? Yes. The top of the cliff!

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