Fears over resort rocks

STAY off the rocks!That's the warning to people this summer from Felixstowe Coastguards who are afraid the resort's new sea defences could become an adventure playground.

STAY off the rocks!

That's the warning to people this summer from Felixstowe Coastguards who are afraid the resort's new sea defences could become an adventure playground.

Officers are worried there could be an accident with someone becoming trapped on the groynes, which are not designed for people to clamber about and play on.

Jo Arlow, Ipswich sector manager, who looks after teams based in Felixstowe, Shingle Street and Aldeburgh, said there are many gaps between the rocks along the beach between the pier and funfair where people could get stuck and the rocks could shift.

“We just want people to stay off the rocks - it could be a very dangerous area,” he said.

“They are not for climbing on. We want people to enjoy the summer safely and there are plenty of safe beach areas to play on.”

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It's not just the new groynes under construction off Sea Road which are a concern, the older rock groynes and barriers near Cobbold's Point are also a hazard.

“We encourage everyone to have fun on the beach and at sea, but we strongly advise everyone to make sure they are aware of the dangers around them, and know who to call if they get into trouble,” said Mr Arlow.

Based at Carr Road Business Park, opposite Adastral Close, Felixstowe, the Coastguard team - which includes a number of volunteer rescue officers - expects the number of emergency calls to treble over the summer months.

They can range from anything from a yacht in difficulty at sea, drifting inflatables, to rescuing people in difficulty on the notoriously dangerous rocks and groynes.

Current volunteer members of the Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue Team include portworkers, a shop owner, teacher, building surveyor and a consultant.

They are trained in mud rescue, search techniques, driving 4x4 vehicles, and first aid, as well as communication and leadership skills.

Anyone interested in applying to join the Coastguard Rescue Service in Felixstowe or would like more details about the role should contact Jo Arlow on 01394 674274, email jo.arlow@mca.gov.uk, or drop in to the sector base at Schneider Close, Felixstowe.

Anyone getting into difficulty this summer on the shore or sea should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.