Family escape landslide horror

Debbie Robinson with her daughters Chloe and Ellie
Debbie Robinson with her daughters Chloe and Ellie

A HARTLEPOOL family holidaying in Dorset say they are “lucky” after making a last-minute change to their plans to spend the day at a beach where a 400-tonne landslip buried and killed a woman.

Debbie and Alan Robinson, and their two daughters Chloe, three, and one-year-old Ellie are on a caravanning holiday at the Freshwater Beach Caravan Park, in Burton Bradstock, Dorset, next to where a 22-year-old woman was crushed under a mass of falling rocks.

Picture courtesy of Dorset Echo

Picture courtesy of Dorset Echo

But today Debbie, a teacher at St Hild’s Church of England School, told the Mail that it could easily have been them under the landslide as they had planned to go to the beach and sit under the cliffs to keep their young kids shaded.

It was only a last-minute decision to spend the day at nearby resort Weymouth which they believed saved them.

As the family made their way along the south coast for their day out, Debbie, 35, and 34-year-old Alan, of Stockton Road, said a fleet of ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles went racing past them in the other direction – unbeknown to them heading for their caravan park’s private beach.

She said: “We were going to go on that beach because it was a lovely day, but at the last minute decided to go to Weymouth.

“We’re obviously so glad we didn’t because we could have literally been

under there.

“Normally when it’s scorching, like it was that day, with the kids being so young we would have sat under the rocks where it would have been more shaded from the sun.

“We just keep thinking about it and can’t believe it. We’re lucky to be alive really.”

She added: “We were on our way to Weymouth when we saw all the ambulances and fire engines and police cars.

“We thought they must have been heading towards a big road accident.

“Obviously they were going to the beach. We had no idea what had happened until we started getting calls and texts asking if we were all OK.

“I feel so terrible for the poor girl who got killed and her family. It’s just a tragedy.”

The victim of the tragedy was yesterday named as Charlotte Blackman, from Heanor, in Derbyshire.

She was on holiday with her family and boyfriend. Her body was found under piles of rubble at the popular holiday spot following a nine-hour search operation.