By: David M. Higgins II
UPDATE 2:45 p.m. from the Town of Chesapeake Beach:
[January 30, 2020- Chesapeake Beach, Maryland] – This morning, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Department, Twin Beach Deputies and North Beach Volunteer Fire Department responded to reports of a cliff collapse just south of the Town-owned beach, Bayfront Park. At the time of the report, individuals were searching for fossils past the area that is open to the public, within private property, when a portion of the cliff collapsed. One member of the group was initially not accounted for.
A search was initiated, which thankfully resulted in all members of the fossil hunting group confirmed to be safe. “Thank you to our first responders, the Twin Beach Deputies and our Department of Public Works for their preparation, effective communication and response during emergencies such as what took place today. We are thankful that there were no injuries and want to remind citizens to learn from this close call and adhere to the signage posted restricting public access to dangerous areas”, stated Mayor Pat “Irish” Mahoney.
Bayfront Park serves a natural habitat for animals by water and land, a resource full of history and fossils and expansive views of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. While the Beach is beautiful, signage prohibiting access to areas must be taken seriously. The signage does not serve as only a reminder that there are dangers ahead, but more importantly serves as official notice of restricted areas that are not accessible to the public.
Several areas of Bayfront Park have signage posted restricting access due to the dangers of the ever changing and unstable cliffs.
Per section 19-96 of the Town Code, it is unlawful for any person to enter these areas and any person violating the provisions shall be guilty of a municipal infraction.
The waterfront area south of the Bayfront Park is private property and not owned by the Town; therefore, accessing this area, through Bayfront Park, is considered Trespassing in addition to a violation of Town Code.
UPDATE 10:16 a.m.- All Police & Fire Units are clearing the scene at Brownies Beach. Everything checked ok.
Advisory 9:45 a.m.: The Calvert Sheriff’s Office and Volunteer Firefighters are responding to an area of Brownies Beach for a reported cliff collapse.
The county reports in a Nixle that there are several pieces of apparatus being used in the area.
Watch for emergency vehicles and personnel in the area. Find an alternate route if possible, if you must drive in the area, use caution.
This is a developing story.