Sightseer blown to his death off Beachy Head

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The Independent Online

A man taking photographs fell 400ft to his death from the top of Beachy Head when a gust of wind swept him off the notorious suicide spot, police said yesterday.

A man taking photographs fell 400ft to his death from the top of Beachy Head when a gust of wind swept him off the notorious suicide spot, police said yesterday.

An eyewitness dialled 999 from his mobile phone after watching the freak accident at the clifftop in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Coastguards and police went to the scene, an area of Beachy Head known as Gunn Hill, at 5.30pm on Thursday.

Police then discovered a second body at the foot of the cliffs. It is believed to have been there for more than 24 hours. The cause of the second death has not been confirmed.

A Sussex Police spokesman said of the photographer: "He was relatively close to the edge when he seemed to lose control in the wind. It appears thatthis was a tragic accident and the victim was blown over the edge."

The spokesman added: "We are treating the discoveries as unconnected. They were both males. One is believed to be from Coventry and one from Kent.

"We are unable to confirm where the photographer was from at this time. No camera has been recovered."

One of the bodies was flown to Eastbourne District General Hospital by a Sussex Police helicopter while the other was recovered by a Dover Coastguard rescue team.

A spokesman for the coastguard added: "It was very windy up on Beachy Head on Thursday. There are a number of people who enjoy photographing that area of the Downs and it appears this man died in a tragic accident while doing just that."

Beachy Head has been the scene of freak accidents before. In June this year five teenagers survived a 150ft fall in their car when they crashed off a cliff near to the scene of the latest death.

Their Ford Fiesta landed on its bonnet on huge boulders at the bottom of the cliff before sliding on its roof to the sea edge. All five teenagers were thrown clear and survived.

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