Dog falls through dune ‘sink holes’

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A WARNING has been issued to beach visitors about the dangers of walking on a Skegness sand dune after a dog fell through a sink hole and had to be rescued from rocks below.

The incident occurred last Saturday, on dunes close to the North Shore Road and County Councillor Mark Smith for Skegness North is urging walkers to avoid going near the dunes positioned to the south of the vehicle ramp.

“My concern is with a child dropping through because it’s a deep hole. In my day job I am a health and safety consultant so I know about risk and this was clearly quite dangerous,” said Coun Smith.

Coun Smith immediately inspected the site after being alerted to the hazard and also wrote to the Environment Agency to state that he thought high tides had scoured sand and dune bases from under and around the rocks placed to form sea defences, leaving a thin covering of sand held together by the roots of plants on the surface.

A number of ‘sink holes’ as deep as two metres have now appeared in places and Coun Smith warned they are near ‘well established’ cut through routes where fencing has ‘failed’.

In the letter to the EA, Coun Smith stated: “Clearly there is a risk that dogs, children and adults could inadvertently step onto the sand bridges and drop through onto the rocks.”

The EA visited the site on Monday but initially couldn’t find the location, according to Coun Smith, and he said he would show them precisely where the holes had formed if they couldn’t find them to help quickly resolve the hazard.

But the EA have since found the holes and advised that they will be carrying out further inspection on the site.

A spokesperson said: “We’d like to thank Councillor Smith for drawing this site to our attention. We inspected straight away and found that small holes have appeared in places between the rock armour sea defences either caused by erosion or burrowing animals. We are carrying out a more thorough inspection to assess where this presents an acute risk close to areas the public use.  Where practicable, we will fill in the voids and will consider putting up signs to further reduce any risk.  

“The sea defences in this location are composed of rock armour, which helps to protect the built structure. This has been in place for more than 15 years.”

The public can contact the EA if they encounter problems with coastal defences on 0800 807060.