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Coast patrol called out seven times in one day

PUBLISHED: 19:23 09 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:23 09 August 2020

A kayaker paddles through the waves at Felixstowe - but jet skis are coming too close to other beach users Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A kayaker paddles through the waves at Felixstowe - but jet skis are coming too close to other beach users Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Enjoy the beaches but stay safe at sea - this was the cry from a volunteer coastal patrol this weekend after they completed seven missions in a single day.

John Cresswell, Chairman and 1st Coxwain, of Felixstowe Coast Patrol, said: “The boat was out to seven different calls on Saturday, not all on the seafront, some were yachts breaking down out at sea.

“We were also tasked by the police to speak to jet ski riders who were coming too close to bathers. That is one of our biggest issues at the moment.”

Mr Cresswell explained that previously there was a marked zone telling those on jet skis where the could ride, which kept paddlers safe from harm.

However, that zone has not been recreated since Felixstowe was reissued with its Blue Flag and he urged people to be more cautious of other beach users.

“People come from all over to use personal watercraft here and often they are not aware of the rules.”

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He said the coast was busier than normal for this time of year and said: “There are more people on the coast, more people who would not normally come to Felixstowe.

“We want to see people out there having as much fun as possible as long as they are staying safe,”

There were no call outs on Sunday, but Mr Creswell attributed that to the weather more than anything.

“I would say we were lucky, the wind was mainly on our side so we haven’t had any issues with inflatables drifting out to sea.

“Last weekend we had incidents where objects were seen up to two miles out, fortunately there were no children with them but we have to assume there was someone on them and run through the search plans.”

He urged families to bring a large piece of cord or rope with them to the beach and tether inflatable rings and lilos to the shore to avoid any risk of them floating off.

“Also there should be adult supervision at all times, there is not enough of that happening at the moment,” warned Mr Cresswell.


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