English student fell 200ft to her death at Seven Sisters clifftop while jumping up and down for a photo

South Korean national Hyewon Kim 'ignored the cliff edge' just inches away when she leaped for the camera

Jeff Farrell
Friday 13 October 2017 10:37 BST
The Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex where signs warn visitors of the dangers – in English only
The Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex where signs warn visitors of the dangers – in English only (Carron Brown)

An English student plunged 200ft to her death at Seven Sisters after she hopped into the air for a photo just inches from the edge of the scenic cliffs, an inquest heard.

Hyewon Kim, 23, had seconds earlier asked a passer-by to take her picture at the beauty spot in East Sussex – and then jumped up and down in “enjoyment” while focused on the camera.

Witnesses told how the South Korean suddenly fell and moments later they heard a bang.

Rescue workers discovered her afterwards face down at the foot of the cliffs with fatal head injuries.

Ms Hyewon had travelled to Britain to improve her English and had gone to the tourist attraction alone on a trip there in June.

Detective Sergeant Tod Stewart from Sussex police gave details of the tragedy at the inquest in Eastbourne, the Mail Online reported.

He said: “There were six photos of her close to the cliffs. They were showing her jumping in the air extremely close to the edge.

“Her concentration is not on anything other than what she is doing. The expression on her face shows nothing but enjoyment.”

Young Choi, 24, revealed in a statement how she was at Seven Sisters when Ms Hyewon, whom she did not know, asked her to take her picture.

She said: “As I was taking photos, she fell down.”

Jin Gyeong Jang, another witness, said: “I saw her standing then heard sound of a bang, then she was not there. At the space where she was standing, there was just a bag.”

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a death by misadventure.

Mark Webb from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spoke out after the inquest about the dangers at the cliffs.

He 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."

Councillors in nearby Seaford town weeks later discussed having warning signs for visitors at Seven Sisters translated into languages other than English at the spot popular with tourists.

But they ruled against the move which they believed could be confusing to visitors and instead told coach and tour companies to warn their clients of the perils before they travel there.

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