Boulder warning on beach

URGENT keep off warnings were today given to people playing on rocks on Felixstowe beach after shifting sands opened up gaping holes between the boulders.

URGENT keep off warnings were today given to people playing on rocks on Felixstowe beach after shifting sands opened up gaping holes between the boulders.

The chunks of granite protecting the resort's prom have been moved by erosion - and the area has been branded “extremely dangerous”.

Beach users have been told to keep off the rocks, which weigh several tons, amid fears people could slip, fall into gaps between the boulders and be trapped with the tide coming in.

Gaps five feet deep have opened between the rocks and prom edge opposite the Fludyers in Undercliff Road East, and between some rocks crevices big enough for a man to get in - as an Evening Star photographer proved.

Peter Wheatley, of Colneis Road, who monitors the beach, said: “What we have now is an extremely dangerous situation.

“I know people are not supposed to walk on these rocks, but people climb about on them all the time. I even saw recently a father with his two or three-year-old child on his shoulders walking across them to get down to the shore.

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“You also see youngsters on BMX bikes doing stunts and jumping from boulder to boulder.

“Now these gaps have opened up, a child or an adult could easily slip and fall from the prom or rocks and become trapped. It would take a huge crane to move one of these rocks.”

Mr Wheatley said shingle beneath the rocks had been sucked out by the sea, causing the boulders to move. They had been placed by contractors so each touched at three points, making them interlock, but now many were loose.

A Suffolk Coastal council spokesman said officers had carried out a detailed inspection and consultants were drawing up a strategy to deal with problems in the area.

He said: “We carry out regular checks on the site, and indeed today we were double-checking the foundations of the sea wall.

“If urgent action needs to be taken, residents should be assured we are ready, with a store of more of the large boulders ready to go in place, plus contractors on call to carry out the work.

“We would again remind people the current boulders are not a playground, that it is, as the signs warn, a dangerous place and would strongly urge people not to climb or walk over them.”

Do you think the council should put fencing up to protect the public? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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