Big wave warning

A FISHERMAN today warned people playing on Felixstowe beach to beware after finding himself waist-deep in water when a flat calm sea was suddenly turned into huge waves by a passing ship.

A FISHERMAN today warned people playing on Felixstowe beach to beware after finding himself waist-deep in water when a flat calm sea was suddenly turned into huge waves by a passing ship.

Angler Tony Scott and a friend were fishing on the shore near Cobbold's Point when they were hit by the waves racing up the beach, and their rods and gear were swept away.

Mr Scott, of Sunningdale Drive, Felixstowe, believes the high-speed ferry, HSS Discovery, was to blame as it had only passed by a few minutes earlier, heading into the harbour.

Mr Scott said: “Suddenly we were hit by two enormous waves. All our fishing equipment was washed into the sea.

“We were put in a very dangerous position because of the boulders around Cobbold's Point and not being able to get off the beach. We tried scrambling up them and it was not easy.

“Had it been a family with young children playing by the water's edge it would have been potentially fatal.”

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Mr Scott has been in touch with the ferry operators and Harwich Haven Authority following the incident on May 13 to voice his concern.

A spokesman for Stena Line said he was not aware of the incident and would investigate the complaint. The HSS Discovery faced a speed restriction in the approaches to the harbour and this was governed very strictly by the HHA.

The speed restriction and the vessel's route was agreed after a series of tests after complaints about large wash waves caused by the football pitch-sized catamaran eight years ago.

There were a series of incidents in which people were knocked off their feet or had their possessions swept away by large waves after the vessel had passed by.

Suffolk Coastal council has put signs along the seafront warning that “unexpected waves which run up the beach with great power” can be caused by any large ship going in and out of the port. Children should not be left alone to play at the water's edge.

Have you seen fresh incidents of the wash waves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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