Officials warn over danger of wave dodging in Bridlington

Bridlington High Tide - Wave Dodger Sunday Night - South Pier, Bridlington
Bridlington High Tide - Wave Dodger Sunday Night - South Pier, Bridlington

Wave dodgers have been warned by the emergency services they risk their lives by getting close to stormy seas.

Officials from Bridlington’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Coastguard were moved to comment after people were spotted dangerously close to the turbulent North Sea over the weekend.

On Sunday Bridlington saw half its August rainfall with 28.6mm falling in just one day. This, coupled with strong winds – the maximum gust reaching 46 miles per hour – saw waves battering the seawall.

Mark Ellis, watch manager at Bridlington Coastguard, said: “I don’t think the people realise that they are not just putting their own lives at risk, they are putting their rescuers at risk too.

“A full bath of water can weigh half a tonne so just imagine the force of those waves coming down. They would sweep you off your feet easily and the public underestimate this. I understand members of the public like watching the force of the sea in action but they must ensure they do not put themselves at risk.”

The storms and heavy rain caused disruption across the UK as the remnants of the Atlantic ex-Hurricane Bertha swept across the country. Bridlington could be seen as lucky compared to Hull where trees were brought down damaging cars and blocking roads.

However, the bad weather in Bridlington did not stop people going down to the sea front for a getting a closer look and taking photographs of the breaking waves.

Andy Brompton from Bridlington RNLI said: “In the past there have been people who have risked the chance to get a closer look and have lost their lives for it. Care should be taken all the time with the sea but at times like this, people need to be extra careful.

“Members of the public should keep well away from the sea front when walking along. People do not realise the dangers of the sea sometimes and the public should be wary of getting close to the area.

“Some children think it would be ‘cool’ to get nearer and be daring but the consequences can be severe if people are not on their guard.”

The weather also made an impact in-land, when a water pipe burst in Boyes department store’s cellar risking the transformer box which supplies electricity to 30 customers in the area. The fire service were called out to assist the pumping of one foot of water from the cellar caused by an overflowing drainage pipe.

There was a worry that the Northern Powergrid energy supply box would be in danger with the volume of water, so an engineer was called out to the scene.

A Northern Powergrid spokesperson said: “There was nothing affected so there was no need for isolating the box meaning it was deemed safe for use.”

The volume of rain lead to the drainage pipe overflowing and flooding the cellar. There was no damage to the Boyes store.

Store manager, Ben Parker, said: “It is business as usual for us though we are always reassessing our procedures and we’re looking into the way we can make the cellar better equipped for the future.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council distributed sandbags to several areas of Flamborough in response to rising levels of standing water while Bridlington Harbour endured no damage from the weekend’s weather.