A family of three decided to pitch their tent on the edge of a 280-foot cliff in an area with a history of landslides. Authorities and online commenters then blasted them for their reckless camping behavior.
The couple, a 27-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, brought their young child from Doncaster and Middlesbrough to the North Yorkshire coast in the U.K., the BBC reported. They opted to camp at the cliff’s edge at Port Mulgrave. The site is on the Cleveland Way, a busy walking path along the coast.
North Yorkshire police called their decision “completely irresponsible.”
Family Chooses Perilous Campsite
Authorities also told the BBC that the family had planned to camp overnight. That’s a violation of local regulations.
Fortunately, a “concerned” citizen reported the situation to the Coast Guard around lunchtime, according to Fox News. At that point, Coast Guard officers from Staithes and Whitby arrived on the scene. They then talked to the family in the tent.
“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,” North Yorkshire police told the BBC.
Coast Guard senior coastal operations officer Adam Turner told the BBC the couple was completely oblivious to the danger of pitching their tent on a cliff’s edge.
“Cliff edges are really unstable and can easily collapse, as recent landslips in the area have shown,” Turner added.
Couple Blasted Online
Online commenters were incredulous at the couple’s decision to camp at the edge of a 280-foot drop. They filled the replies to the BBC’s tweet of the news, which pointed out that the family “had no idea of [the] extreme danger.”
“How can they be that thick?” one commenter wondered.
“Natural selection at its finest,” another declared.
Yet another tweep simply replied with, “#DarwinAwards.”
Still, others piped up with more constructive criticism, pointing out that some people need education on outdoors skills and it’s lucky there were people nearby who better understood the situation.
“Let’s not use the lack of knowledge to hound people,” one tweep suggested. “Simple educational task, need people discovering outdoors sometimes not everyone has same understanding.”
And as another tweep observed, the couple can thank their lucky stars that the Coast Guard arrived in time to make them aware of the danger of their situation.
“Thank heavens there are those who prevented a tragedy from occurring,” that person posted. “For whatever reason some people just don’t appear to have any common sense.”