Monday, 5 Dec 2022

Sea evacuated as Dorset parents grab their children from water in ‘sharp object’ panic

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Swimmers were told to leave the waters at West Bay near Bridport by RNLI lifeguards following the discovery just before 5pm on Sunday. 

Parents have been asked to take their children away from the water. 

Rescuers initially replaced a yellow and red flag, which indicates a safe area to swim, with a red flag at a section near to the harbour wall at the beach.

According to a beach visitor, a tannoy announcement explained: “This is an RNLI announcement. You may have noticed we have put out a red flag on the beach.

“This is due to an unidentified sharp object in the water.

 

“If you want to continue swimming, please move down the beach and stay away from the area in front of the flag.”

Minutes later, red flags were placed across the beach and lifeguards told swimmers and visitors not to enter the water.

A red flag is described by RNLI as “Danger! Never go into the water under any circumstances when the red flag is flying.”

A further announcement added: “We are red flagging the whole beach due to an unidentified sharp object. We strongly advise that you do not swim at this time”


People are said to be “looking pretty grumpy” after visitors were told not to enter the water.

This includes people paddleboarding, swimming or paddling in the water.

Some people are said to be defying the order and entering the water regardless.

A lifeguard later confirmed it was a “metal object”. 


Imogen McGuckin, who is visiting the beach, told Dorset Live: “Swimmers were spaced out along the beach at West Bay, from the pier to the cliffs, when a spokesman for the RNLI made an announcement over a loudhailer. He said: “This is an RNLI announcement. You may have noticed we have put out a red flag on the beach. This is due to an unidentified sharp object in the water.

“If you want to continue swimming, please move down the beach and stay away from the area in front of the flag.”

Some swimmers looked a bit worried and any who were near the flag either returned to the beach or moved further along the shore. Mothers could be heard warning their children to avoid the area.

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