Deadly danger in innocent dunes

MEMORIES of a tragedy at the sand dunes some years ago had Councillor David May warning some youngsters of the dangers of dune-jumping on Wednesday evening.

He was playing golf and on reaching the second tee spotted them on the dunes - quite close to warning notices.

He told the Review: “I am delighted to see the good weather and the kids out enjoying it.

“But they may not have been aware of the dangers of a dune collapsing and trapping someone.”

Councillor May is also conscious of the fragile nature of the Montrose dunes, and the constant battle against erosion by the sea.

Just over four years ago the town was horrified when a video on YouTube showed local youths jumping 30 feet down from an overhang on the unstable dunes.

At that time Councillor May said: “It’s quite astonishing. The gall these youngsters have for putting this on YouTube is incredible. Even more so given that a number of them are named.

“The sand dunes are extremely unstable and there are plenty of signs warning of the dangers. What they are doing is very dangerous.

“The tragedy of a youngster being killed lives with a family forever.”

The youngsters to whom he spoke on Wednesday listened attentively to what he said, and appeared to be receptive to his words.

But he hopes that parents will drive home the message to their children that this is an instance of potential danger, clothed in a fun activity.

And he got back in touch to tell us: “I have subsequently spoken to the police and coastguards and they have suggested that if someone sees youngsters jumping off the dunes we should ‘phone them and they will respond quickly. I would urge people to follow this advice before another tragedy occurs.”

Councillor Mhairi Evans, Angus Council’s convener of infrastructure services, added: “We want everyone to enjoy our lovely Angus beaches and coastal walks, particularly in good weather, but warning signs are there for good reason. Dune-jumping is a very dangerous activity which we all want to discourage in order to protect both the public’s safety and the sand dunes.”