People urged to take care on Hartlepool beaches as new warning banners put up near Steetley Pier
New signs are warning people to take care when using Hartlepool’ beaches.
The banners, which are asking people not to enter the water because it’s not safe for swimming, were put up near Steetley Pier on Friday, August 13.
Hartlepool Borough Council has said that Steetley beach in particular is not recommended for swimming as there are channels that cause “very strong” rip currents.
It comes after the tragic death of 14-year-old schoolboy Matthew Sherrington, whose body was found near Steetley Pier on Thursday, July 22.
Matthew went missing at around 6.15pm on July 15 and was last seen playing in the water there.
Police, Coastguard search teams and volunteer crews with the RNLI all took part in a search operation immediately after his disappearance.
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “Following the recent tragic death of 14-year-old Matthew Sherrington, we are urging people to take care near the water when visiting Hartlepool’s beaches.
“Whilst beaches are great for a day out, they can also be unpredictable and dangerous.
"Steetley, in particular, is a beach at which we would not recommend swimming and the banners have been put up to reflect that.
"The sea conditions may appear calm but the beach has a number of hazards that are not immediately visible.
“The sea around the pier is especially dangerous as there are channels that cause very strong rip currents.”
The currents are usually difficult to spot and can quickly drag people and debris out into deeper water. Sometimes they can be identified by a channel of churning water on the sea surface and tend to flow at 1–2 mph.
The council’s spokesperson added: “We would advise people to stay safe by choosing a lifeguarded beach and always swimming between the red and yellow flags which indicate where it is safest to swim based on the sea conditions for any given day.
“The Council’s beach lifeguards will continue to be operational from 10am-6pm until September 6th at Seaton Carew and the Headland Fish Sands and Block Sands.”