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Lyme Regis: Warning over Cobb storm thrill seekers
PEOPLE risked their lives by ignoring raging seas and gale force winds to play daredevil games on the Cobb at Lyme Regis at the height of recent storms.
And despite attempts to block access to the wave-swept Cobb and prevent thrill-seekers from trying to brave the elements, officials were met with laughter and even abuse when they tried to explain the dangers.
In some of the worst summer storm conditions in recent years, towering waves crashed over the harbour wall and onto the moored boats.
And rocks weighing more than 10 kilos were described as “whizzing through the air” – leaving the Cobb strewn with debris which this week required a clear-up and repair operation.
Lyme harbourmaster Grahame Forshaw said that a team of people had remained on hand throughout last Thursday evening to ensure that warnings not to venture out onto the Cobb were heeded.
“A couple of people were very foolishly walking round the Cobb as the water was crashing around them,” he said.
“A family with a young child were paddling on the sand bar as there were two foot waves coming over it. That child could easily have been swept away.
“We were down there for most of the night just to warn the public. We blocked off the Cobb with tape but even so, people were trying to pass, so we had to have a visible presence to tell people ‘you can’t do that’ and some people resented being told.
“I think those people were largely visitors to the town. Local people have seen it all before and tend to be aware of what the sea can do.”
Photographer Andrew Blackmore was taking photographs of the spectacular seascape from a safe distance said the stormy conditions were as bad as he had ever seen.
He said: “The harbourmaster cordoned off the Cobb and there were people right on the shoreline which was very stupid as a big wave could easily have taken them.
“If anything did happen then the emergency services have to put themselves at risk to try and save them and we were saying that we just hoped that the lifeboat didn’t have to go out in those conditions.”
Police warned of the danger.
“Naturally the conditions were extremely hazardous and the people were foolishly putting themselves in great danger of being washed off the sea wall and into the sea where their chances of survival would have been highly unlikely,” said police section commander Insp Mike Darby.
“We urge everyone to be aware of the extreme danger of attempting to get too close to the sea in rough conditions and not to risk their lives and others by not thinking about their actions. Luckily on this occasion no lives were lost due to stupidity.
“We urge anyone to contact us and the Coastguard should they see anyone putting themselves in obvious danger along our coastline.”