October 2 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 22, 2014
Beach goers are being urged to be safe on the sand after a man was spotted digging a dangerously deep hole on Gorleston seafront.
Concerned resident Steven Gilder took these pictures of the man as he shovelled sand out of the pit, which he said was two feet above his head and could have easily collapsed.
The 55-year-old grandfather said a little girl, who was with the man and a woman, could also be seen running around the edge of the hole making the situation potentially even more dangerous.
Steven, who was on the seafront with his grandchildren yesterday when he spotted the family, is now urging visitors and locals alike to take care on the beach.
He said: “I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. Mother, and I assume her daughter, were playing happily together while the dad was digging a sand hole that was about two foot above is head. You could hardly see him.
“The little girl, who couldn’t have been older than four, was running around the top edge of the hole.
“I just want to remind holidaymakers that it’s not sensible.”
Steven’s warning comes after Coastwatch volunteers stepped in to save a young girl from a 4ft deep hole on Caister beach in May.
A member of Caister’s National Coastwatch Institution watched as the girl “disappeared” inside the pit, which she and her family had dug in the sand.
Fearing the sides of the hole could have collapsed at any minute the watchkeeper stepped in and advised her family to get her out.
Volunteer Alan Perry said at the time: “People, especially those on holiday, don’t always see the dangers in front of them. We were up in the watchtower and we’d been keeping an eye on them, but it was when the girl got in and you couldn’t see her that we knew we had to step in.”
Steven, who used to work for a water company and has experience in excavating, echoed the Coastwatch warning.
“Part of my NVQ was to assess people digging trenches so I know about the dangers,” he added.
In August 2011, 15-year-old Paige Anderson, who was on holiday with her family from Kent, was airlifted to hospital after a 7ft hole she had been digging on Caister beach collapsed without warning.
Onlookers, including members of the public, police, paramedics, lifeboat crews and coastwatch volunteers, used their bare hands and shovels to reach her.