11 year old dies in cliff fall

The family of an 11 year old from Hampshire who died after falling from a cliff have thanked ambulance and lifeguard crews who tried to save her.

Eleanor Clarke slipped through a gap in a cliff at Perranporth in Cornwall at around 1.15pm on Wednesday 11 August 2010, into a water-filled cave.  She was from Andover and had been in Cornwall on holiday there with her family.

RNLI lifeguards tried to help her, but she later died in hospital.

Falmouth Coastguard Neil Oliver, said: "This is a very tragic incident that has occurred. We would remind all, that cliffs can be dangerous and we would ask parents to ensure that their children are not placing themselves at risk."

He added: "Our sympathies are extended to this family at this very difficult time."

Police aren't treating Eleanor's death as suspicious.

Her family have released the following statement:

"Our pain in losing our beautiful daughter Eleanor is impossible to describe. We are struggling to put into words the unique person that she was and how her loss will affect us, her two brothers and all her family.

"Her radiance and sheer joy of life captivated anyone who knew her. Her witty and mischievous nature, her loyalty and kindness, all complemented her adventurous spirit. She was very happy as a pupil at Thorngrove School in Highclere. She loved acting, sports, looking after all her pets and being with her friends. Above all she was fun to be with.
"We were altogether enjoying a happy family day on the beach in Cornwall, exploring the beach, rocks and caves, when she fell suffering the awful injuries that led to her death.
"We want to thank all the people who helped us on the beach and the lifeguards, the crew of the air ambulance, all the staff at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro and the police.  They were all so kind.
"We are absolutely devastated.  We have to find a way to go on living without her.  We loved her so much.
"We would ask that we are left to grieve in peace."