YOUNGSTERS hoping to catch a crab or two off the jetty at Felixstowe Ferry will be in for a disappointment this summer.Children have traditionally caught crabs with lines and meat scraps from the spot for decades, but now safety chiefs at Suffolk County Council have put up a sign banning swimming, fishing and crabbing, claiming it is potentially dangerous.
YOUNGSTERS hoping to catch a crab or two off the jetty at Felixstowe Ferry will be in for a disappointment this summer.
Children have traditionally caught crabs with lines and meat scraps from the spot for decades, but now safety chiefs at Suffolk County Council have put up a sign banning swimming, fishing and crabbing, claiming it is potentially dangerous.
However, parents and children crabbing this week appeared to have not seen the large sign, with several dipping their bait in the water in hope of a bite.
Jane Alexander, from Walton, Felixstowe, said: "I think it's stupid. The children love to crab and it's a great spot to do it there.
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"Both my children have been using the jetty because it's the best place to do it."
Ruth Clements, from Ipswich, was crabbing with her daughter, Emma. She said: "I didn't even see the sign. What harm are they doing using the jetty anyway?
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"It's just another sign telling people not to do something."
Matt Clarke, from Felixstowe, who was crabbing with his two sons, said: "Both of them love crabbing down here. I used to do it when I was younger.
"As long as the ferry isn't coming and they are not getting in the way, what's the problem?"
But Mark Powell, also from Felixstowe, said the council were right to worry about the safety implications.
He said: "It can get dangerous when it gets wet and the river rushes past along here so I can see why they are doing it.
"Saying that, I know it's a good spot for the children. I guess safety is the main concern so I can understand it."
The jetty and ferry rights are leased by the county council to the ferry operators, who it is understood asked the council to put up the signs because they were worried about the dangers from children using the jetty.
The matter was also brought before the Felixstowe Ferry Forum, which is working to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors to the fishing hamlet, and it agreed signs were needed.
A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: "A notice was put in place to reinforce the jetty's intended use by the ferry as a docking point.
"The notice also serves as a warning that it is not safe to swim or go crabbing around the jetty because of its constant use by the ferry."
The jetty is the mooring point for the 23ft fibreglass Deben Ferry, which takes walkers and cyclists across the 400 yards to and from Bawdsey.
The ferry across the mouth of the Deben has run since 1730. Its busiest years were when Bawdsey Manor was operational as a radar research station.
It operates from 10am to 5pm daily until May and then 10am to 6pm until October.