With 100′ high cliffs there are always cliff deaths and other tragic accidents that happen to holidaymakers and locals alike. In order to keep their memory alive, below is a list of those stories. It includes bodies found in the sea, those who fell from cliffs and a couple who still lived to tell the tale.
For cliff deaths before 2014, see: Cliff Deaths in Newquay pre-2014
It is not possible to list them all – as, often, having found a body there’s no further reporting of the matter in local newspapers. However, here are some of the unfortunate victims who passed away on Newquay cliffs, or suffered tragedies:
- 1 July. A body found on Bedruthan Steps, near Newquay, was identified as 49 year old Laura Summers. It is believed she originated from Brighton, Sussex. She was found naked and 4x the drink driving limit. Her death and full identity remain a mystery. She had stayed at the Great Western Hotel the night before her body was found, but the police have no permanent address for her. She had been drinking and had some taken some medications, the autopsy ascertained she’d drowned.
- October – A local man died after falling from cliffs at Watergate Road onto Whipsiderry beach, Newquay at lunchtime. He was taken to Treliske Hospital, but declared dead. The death was not being treated as suspicious. The man was watched by onlookers as he threw himself off the cliff top. He was later named as Chris Charlton, aged 58, from St Columb Minor, Newquay. He left a widow and 3 children. Suicide.
- 5 August. A 42 year old angler, Jamie Ferguson, on holiday at Polly Joke, Crantock, with his family, failed to return to the campsite in the evening; a body was recovered from the water between Crantock Beach and Porth Joke (Polly Joke) Beach. Resuscitated at the point of rescue, he died later in Hospital. Jamie leaves a widow and two sons.
- 11 August. Human remains were found at the bottom of cliffs near Watergate Bay, the Tregurrian area – initially believed to possibly be the remains of Chad Gibson, a 32 year old man from St Austell, who went missing in Newquay in December 2015. It will be some time before the remains are forensically tested and results known.
UPDATE 18 January 2017: The remains found at the bottom of the cliffs were formally identified as missing man Darren Rhys Witcombe, aged 45. Originally from Wales, Darren Witcombe had lived in Newquay for some years and was last seen alive on 13 December 2015 when he visited a friend.
- 19 August. Three members of a family of 5 were swept from rocks on South Fistral Beach, Newquay – a large wave swept the mother, father and 2 year old into the water. The mother was saved by emergency services on a jetski and returned to her 2 surviving children on the beach; the father and 2 year old were picked up by the lifeboat and taken to Treliske Hospital, Truro. The father died overnight; the 2 year old was in critical condition, dying four days later.
The family were named as Mr Rudy Brunynius, (33) his wife Lisinda (37) and two year old daughter McKayla, of Morden, Surrey; their two boys, Tyrone (10) and Damien (6), scrambled their own way to safety. The family were originally from South Africa.
- September. A 75 year old holidaymaker from Minster-on-Sea, Kent was seen swimming, then floating in the water at Porth Beach. He was pulled from the sea and taken to Treliske, but died. This was a medical episode that he suffered when a big wave hit him. http://www.kentonline.co.uk/sheerness/news/kent-man-dies-after-being-103233/
- October. A body was found on Tolcarne Beach, identified a week later as a local man, Ray Brindle, originally from Blackburn. Aged 45, there were no suspicious circumstances.
- 17 January. The human remains found at Tregurrian, near Watergate Bay, Newquay, last summer were formally identified as Darren Rhys Witcombe. Aged 45, Darren Witcombe lived at Newquay, but originally came from Wales and was last seen on 23 December 2015. Cause of death is still unknown. He had not been reported as a missing person.
- 4 February. A body was found at Treyarnon by a member of the public. On 6 February this was identified as Patrick Foster from Newquay – the death is not being treated as suspicious. Patrick Foster, aged 46, was resident in Newquay.