Wave dodgers risking lives

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A STARK warning has been made to children photographed dodging waves on a pier.

The white water dramatically cascaded over the Heugh Pier, on Hartlepool’s Headland, on Bank Holiday Monday, attracting youngsters along the coastline as they enjoyed their summer holidays.

But the coastguard has warned youngsters snapped playing in the spray that they risk their lives by getting so close.

The stunning images were captured by a reader who sent them in to the Mail to highlight the problem.

HM Coastguard was also alerted to the dangerous behaviour.

Mike Green, watch manager at Humber Coastguard, said the children were “playing

with fire”.

He added: “When you get a high tide and a northerly swell, you get breaking waves on piers and breakwaters, which can be very powerful.

“It may look very impressive and may seem like fun to be dodging the waves, but people should only be watching from a safe distance.

“Being hit by a wave can cause broken bones, and the worst case scenario is people get dragged into the sea. It is a matter of life and death.

“It was only a few years ago that two members of a family of four were lost while trying to dodge waves in Scarborough, we couldn’t get them back out.

“That shows that this isn’t just a hollow warning, the sea can be very dangerous.”

The reader, who did not want to be named, had gone over to the Headland to enjoy the holiday and took his camera to record the high waves.

He told the Mail: “I warned these youngsters it was dangerous and to move further back, which they did.”

The Mail reported how a coastguard suffered a broken leg while rescuing a family off the North Gare pier, in Hartlepool.

They had been fishing off the pier despite waves breaking over the walls in rough seas during July, 2007.

The coastguard got the family to safety but was hit by a wave and crashed against a pier wall, and had to be airlifted to hospital.

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