Warning signs near harbour after rescues
NEW signs warning people against swimming around Southwold harbour will be put up this week following three recent sea rescues.Waveney District Council will put up signs prohibiting swimming and warning of underwater obstructions on Southwold's north pier and along the entire length of the opposite pier at Walberswick.
NEW signs warning people against swimming around Southwold harbour will be put up this week following three recent sea rescues.
Waveney District Council will put up signs prohibiting swimming and warning of underwater obstructions on Southwold's north pier and along the entire length of the opposite pier at Walberswick.
The signs come after a mother ran into the sea fully clothed to help save her daughter and niece who were swept out to sea near the harbour entrance and they had to be rescued by Southwold Lifeboat last Thursday.
Two children in an inflatable dingy also had to be rescued after they were swept out from the shore on Saturday afternoon and a middle-aged woman, believed to be drunk, refused the help of the lifeboat after taking a dip in the harbour on Sunday at around 6pm.
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David Gallagher, principal leisure manager at Waveney council, said: "There is a danger of strong currents around the harbour with people getting swept out. The new signs will warn people against swimming and that there are obstructions under the water along the entire length of the harbour piers. We are not putting up 'No jumping' signs as people should know better."
But children were seen jumping into the harbour on the Walberswick side and letting the tide carry them along to a ladder on Saturday, which angered lifeboat operational manager John Huggins.
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He said: "Waveney District council have always been very good and listened to what I have said. They will erect new signs but people still need to be more aware of their safety in the water."
Peter Austin, leader of Waveney District Council and councillor for Southwold and Reydon, said: "Putting up signs hasn't been necessary before because people haven't been stupid enough to try swimming there before. In this day and age people seem to have lost all common sense.
"It is difficult to say what should be done as we've never had incidents like this before."
John Winter, former harbourmaster and coastguard at Southwold, is opposed to the signs going up.
He said: "There are too many signs already and as for fences they will create danger by encouraging children to play on them before they trip up and fall in. People jumping into the harbour need their heads examined but if they want to put their lives in danger then fine as long as they don't endanger the lives of those jumping in to save them."
Southwold town councillor Peter Webb added: "There certainly appears that a new sport is developing for jumping off the sea wall. We can't stop people jumping off but there should be done prominent danger signs as it's very easy to get up onto the sea wall and with the very fast moving water people do not stand much chance even with the lifeboat so near."