Anglers praise island improvements
A TEENAGE angler today praised improvements to a fishing area where he and two friends became trapped during a freak storm.Daniel Page and Nicholas and Mark Legane had to be rescued by firefighters when they were trapped on an island in Beachwater Lake at Chantry Park.
A TEENAGE angler today praised improvements to a fishing area where he and two friends became trapped during a freak storm.
Daniel Page and Nicholas and Mark Legane had to be rescued by firefighters when they were trapped on an island in Beachwater Lake at Chantry Park.
The trio had been night fishing in the early hours of July 20, 2003, when a tree was struck by lightning and came crashing down only yards away from them.
Their torches gave out and they were plunged into darkness so they called 999 on a mobile phone.
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Daniel, 18, Nicholas, 18, and Mark, 15, were trapped for about an hour before two fire crews used ladders to make a ten-metre bridge across boggy, slippery ground to collect the youths at about 2am.
The boys, all of Poppy Close, Ipswich, noticed many improvements when they recently returned to Chantry Park and have vowed to fish there again.
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Steve Hunt, head ranger for the Parks Department at Ipswich Borough Council, said the area had been made safer as part of a £60,000 scheme.
The changes made included dredging the lakes, building fishing platforms and clearing the reeds and fallen trees that had formed a bridge so people could reach the island.
Mr Hunt said: "If we are having fishing areas we have to make it as safe as possible."
The river banks are currently being reinforced and that will be finished early next year with four places around the lake designed for fishing.
Mr Page, now 19, said: "It is much safer for people to fish on. Since the incident we had not been up there but we are amazed by the changes.
"It is absolutely superb. It was a hazard before and on the night of the storm we had no way of getting off the island. It was a nightmare and we had to be careful where we were standing in case we fell in but now no one can get across to the island.
"We are lucky to be alive. We were terrified and we could have been in serious trouble.
"We want to say thanks for the hard work that everyone has put in."
Mr Hunt added: "It is good that the boys feel we have made some improvements and it is nice to know that what we are doing is pleasing the public."
n What do you think of the changes made to Chantry Park? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email email@example.com or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk