Warning over Heugh pier

The Heugh breakwater during last week's storms and (inset below) Greg Albrighton
The Heugh breakwater during last week's storms and (inset below) Greg Albrighton
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LIFESAVERS are urging people to stay away from a pier over fears someone could be washed into the sea.

Fisherman and youngsters have been seen climbing around the metal barrier aimed at preventing access to the Heugh Breakwater off Hartlepool’s Headland.

Greg Albrighton, sector manager for HM Coastguard

Greg Albrighton, sector manager for HM Coastguard

Now after the recent bad weather saw waves crashing over the breakwater, coastguards in Hartlepool have appealed for people to stay off the structure as it could end in tragedy.

Greg Albrighton, of HM Coastguard in Hartlepool, said a fisherman died when he was hit by a wave on the South Gare in Redcar in October last year and he does not want to see a repeat of the tragedy.

The call came after a reader contacted the Mail to raise concerns after seeing people climbing around the metal barrier and dangling into the sea to get onto the structure.

He said: “I was walking on the Headland and saw people climbing over the edge of the breakwater to get around the metal barrier.

“It was during all the bad weather last week when the sea was crashing over the pier and it was really slippery. If they get hit by a wave they will just get washed into the sea.”

Mr Albrighton said: “Anglers have died by being washed off rocks or piers up and down the country.

“There was a recent death on the South Gare last winter and that’s not the first time it’s happened.

“If people get on the Heugh Breakwater it must be a matter of time before it happens here.”

He added: “I have got nothing against people fishing off piers but there are massive waves weighing many tonnes crashing over to pier.

“People should think about their safety. These waves weigh maybe 10, 20 or 30 tonnes and you have no chance, there is nothing you can do if you get hit by that.”