Student plunges 200ft to her death while posing for photos on Sussex cliff

The Seven Sisters cliffs, where Hyewon Kim fell to her death (Rex)

A student plunged 200 feet to her death while posing for a photograph on the famous Seven Sisters cliffs in Sussex.

Hyewon Kim landed awkwardly after jumping in the air for the picture.

The 23-year-old South Korean, who was in the UK studying English.

She had asked a stranger to take the picture as she visited Cuckmere Haven, part of the Seven Sisters, a popular chalk cliff site with tourists and walkers in East Sussex. The site is close to Brighton.

An inquest heard she suffered catastrophic injuries in the fall.

Her tragic death was described as unnecessary by the court.

‘This was an incredibly sad incident leading to the unnecessary loss of a very young life,’ said Mark Webb of the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

‘What we would say is to urge people to stay well away from cliff edges.

‘The day before this incident we had a very severe rock fall in the same sort of area, so it’s clear some of these cliff edges can be very unstable.’


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In all, police said there were six photos of Ms Kim on the cliff, before she fell. In all they claimed she was smiling and happy.

The site is popular with tourists and walkers (Rex)

Eastbourne senior coroner Coroner Alan Craze  recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

‘She landed with one foot beyond the cliff edge and only her other foot landing on the cliff edge,’ he said.

‘Every one of the photos shows her looking away from the cliff edge. A lot of South East Asians like to visit because the Seven Sisters refer to the seven daughters of the Chinese deity, the Jade Emperor.’

The stranger who took the photos was also South Korean.

Another South Korean witness, Jin Gyeong Jang, said: ‘I saw her standing then heard sound of a bang, then she was not there.’

The incident took place on June 22.