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Mother 'horrified' after children play in sea metres from dangerous Second World War sea defences

PUBLISHED: 13:05 24 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:18 25 August 2019

Hayley Adcock and her family on holiday in Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

Hayley Adcock and her family on holiday in Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

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A mother was left "sickened" after finding out her young sons had been playing in the sea metres from dangerous defences from the Second World War.

Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, at Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley AdcockSecond World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, at Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

Hayley Adcock had travelled to Kessingland for a holiday with her two sons, aged 10 and 13, her mum and her mum's foster son, 9.

After enjoying a trip to the sea one evening, the family returned the following night to discover Dragon's Teeth, metal coastal defences with sharp points which remain in place today, which were visible at low tide.

Mrs Adcock said: "We took the children to the beach to use their body boards and have some fun.

"The following night the tide had gone out and you could see these things in the sea. It was shocking. Luckily no one was hurt.

Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, in Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley AdcockSecond World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, in Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

"They didn't want to go back in the water after that. They were too scared. That made my mum and I feel sick because they were being silly in the water only the night before. I dread to think what could have happened. It is our job as parents to protect and keep our children safe.

The family, from Brockdish, have visited Kessingland every August for the last three years.

Mrs Adcock said: "Myself and my mum were horrified that there are no markings on the beach.

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"The signs just say there is a hazard, but don't say where, or how dangerous. If any child, adult or animal encounter these, the outcome could be fatal.

"They're not something you'd expect in the sea."

Sid James, chairman of Kessingland Parish Council and beach warden, said efforts to remove the defences were "ongoing."

He said: "We have put up signs at the end of the prom to tell people there are underwater obstacles.

"We did have signs on the beach but all you need is one storm and they are gone.

"We are always pleased when holidaymakers report these because it gives strength to our argument to get them removes as quickly as possible."

A spokesperson for the Crown Estate, who own the foreshore where the defences are located, said: "We continue to make public safety a priority and maintain a regular inspection regime of these structures. Signs are in place at public access points to the foreshore and the beach to warn of the defences.

"We are engaged with the local stakeholders and relevant bodies on the future of these historical installations, and are exploring the potential of erecting fixed beacons in the water and the possible removal of the defences.

"The Kessingland coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so any work would require careful management and consultation with environmental partners."

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