Holidaymaker dies and his wife is critically injured after falling 40ft from Jersey cliffs on to roof of wartime bunker

June 12th, 20126:39 pm @

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  • Peter and Lorraine Scurr were both keen Guide Dogs volunteers
  • Police are treating the fall as a tragic accident

By
Emily Allen

10:39, 12 June 2012

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18:42, 12 June 2012

A holidaymaker has died and his wife is critically injured after the couple accidentally plunged 40ft from cliffs in Jersey.

The Southampton couple, both keen volunteers for Guide Dogs, fell from cliffs in St Aubin on to the concrete roof of a wartime bunker on the Channel Island yesterday evening.

Rescue crews used ropes and ladders to reach the roof of the bunker,
built originally as a railway tunnel in 1898 and expanded by the Germans
in the Second World War to store ammunition and fuel.

Police and paramedics found the couple on the bunker roof in the Mont Les Vaux area shortly before 5pm last night.

Accident: The couple plunged about 40 feet from cliffs in St Aubin on to the concrete roof on to the German tunnels below Railway Walk

Accident: Firefighters at the scene of the tragedy where Peter Scurr fell to his death on to the concrete roof of a wartime bunker

Peter Scurr, 69, was dead at the scene and his 65-year-old wife Lorraine Scurr, a retired nurse, was found with serious injuries. 

Witnesses claimed Mr Scurr appeared to lose his footing before he fell.

His wife managed to grab on to some tree branches but moments later, she lost her grip and fell.

The couple had been holidaying on the Channel Island and climbed to a
viewpoint over the picturesque village of St Aubin.

The bunker they fell upon forms part of the Railway Walk – a four mile long path
which links St Aubin and Corbiere.

The Jersey Eastern Railway line between St Aubin and Corbiere was completed in 1884 and stopped operating soon after in 1936. It was then opened again by the Nazis who used the track to transport materials to build large quarries.

Today it forms part of the Jersey War Tunnels museum which tells the story of the Nazi invasion of the island – the only part of the British Isles that was occupied.

It is possible to walk or cycle over the entire route of the Jersey Railway as a seafront promenade, cycle track and walking and cycling trail now occupy the trackbed.

Mrs Scurr is due to be flown to hospital in Southampton for specialist treatment. 

Eye witnesses claim the man appeared to lose his footing before he fell while his wife managed to grab on to some tree branches

Fall: Eyewitnesses claim Mr Scurr appeared to lose his footing before he fell while his wife managed to grab on to some tree branches

The couple had a four-month-old Guide Dog puppy, their eighth, called Skipper.

There was no-one at their £220,000 semi-detached, three bedroom house today. A black Chevrolet Lacetti estate car was parked on the drive.

Neighbours of the couple were too distraught to talk about the pair.

Southampton Guide Dogs mobility team manager Tim Stafford said: ‘We’re
very sorry to learn of the sad death of Mr Scurr.

‘He was a dedicated volunteer puppy walker, fundraiser and speaker. He
was a great ambassador for Guide Dogs and will be missed by all who knew
him.

‘Our thoughts are with his family.’

Mrs Scurr also regularly helped at St Patrick’s Church, in Southampton.

Father Claron Conde said: ‘Lorraine is a very generous woman and very active, nothing is too much trouble for her.

‘They loved to go walking and were always out enjoying the countryside.

‘Lorraine is very involved in helping local disadvantaged children and is involved in the Sunday Liturgy.

‘Her husband was a very nice man and we will be holding a memorial mass in the morning.

‘Everyone is very shocked and devastated at what has happened. We have had messages of support pouring in all day.’

A spokesman for Jersey Police said: ‘Officers are treating the death as a tragic accident and are now preparing a file for the Deputy Viscount.’

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

I feel very sorry for this accident, and feel for those who have suffered. Yet, I cannot understand how anyone could fall when walking the old railway walk.

carolyn you are wrong as of april 1sr the agreement was reinstated with jersey and uk whilst they wont fly them home they will get emergency treatment free

“there was no one in at their £220,000 home but a black Chevrolet was parked on the drive” .. This is investigative journalism at its best. If you have nothing to quote then phone the estate agent. Condolences to Mrs Scurry I hope you recover well and in private. I’m sorry for your loss.

Have absolutely no idea how they managed to fall from there… So sad, RIP to the gentleman and I hope the lady pulls through. What has the value of their house got to do with the story though?

Sincere condolences to all concerned but I hope they had medical insurance or the poor widow will not only be grieving but get a huge bill for the rescue and medical evacuation as many do not realise but should be warned before setting off there are no longer “free” medical arrangements provided for UK citizens in the Channel Islands despite the fact that in the event of an accident they would get treatment free here in the UK.

This was very sad to hear. As a Jersey local I know all too well how dangerous those cliff walks can be. Thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family.

A sad end to a great holiday for the couple; I hope the wife pulls through and can face life without her husband.

This was a tragic accident – a lesson never to stray off the marked paths.

Condolences to all involved.

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