Student fell off cliff ‘posing for photo’

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Image caption Signs warning about the instability of the cliffs are in place approaching the area

A student fell to her death while posing for a photograph on cliffs at Seven Sisters, an inquest heard.

Hyewon Kim, 23, came to the UK to study English and on 22 June took a trip to Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex, alone.

She asked a stranger to take her picture, but as she jumped in the air for the shot she lost her footing and fell 200ft (60m).

The court heard Ms Kim, from South Korea, suffered catastrophic injuries in the fall.

‘Unnecessary loss’

Eastbourne senior coroner Alan Craze recorded a conclusion of misadventure.

Speaking after the inquest, Mark Webb from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This was an incredibly sad incident leading to the unnecessary loss of a very young life.

“What we would say is to urge people to stay well away from cliff edges.

“The day before this incident we had a very severe rock fall in the same sort of area, so it’s clear some of these cliff edges can be very unstable.”

Image caption Several large sections of the cliffs have crumbled into the sea in recent months

Signs warning about the instability of the cliffs are in place approaching the area.

An option for more signs in foreign languages was considered by Seaford Town Council in July 2017 but was rejected.

Craig Williams, from the town council, said it was a unanimous decision from representatives of East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council, the coastguard and South Downs National Park Authority.

“We’ve decided to keep the signs as they are; we felt more would just confuse matters. Instead we’ve tackled this at source.

“We’ve been approaching coach companies and tour operators who run trips to the area and take people up on the cliffs to discuss having plans in place to warn people.”

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