PHOTO GALLERY: Sea creatures wash up in their thousands in Skegness

A photo of a sea mouse washed up near Gibraltar Point NNR - photo by Rob Watson.

Thousands of sea creatures have washed up along the Skegness coast due to the high tide and strong winds.

From lobsters and hermit crabs to sunstars and ray fish - the beaches are covered with the unfortunate creatures left stranded on the sand.

A common sunstar taken on Skegness beach by Donna Baldwin.

Some have been trying to get any survivors back into the water in the hope they can recover.

Gibraltar Point NNR have tweeted several photos of creatures stranded near the reserve including a ray, a resting seal, a bizarre-looking ‘sea mouse’ and large piles of dead and dying starfish, razorfish, crabs and common sunstars.

Standard reader Sarah Worthington was walking her dog along Skegness beach when they spotted a large ‘friendly’ lobster.

Sarah said she took a quick photo of her dog Charlie posing with the creature before rushing it back to the water.

Sarah Worthington's photo of her dog Charlie with a live lobster on Skegness beach.

Skegness resident Donna Baldwin also took several photos of stranded animals along her local beach - including various common sunstars, starfish and large crabs - saying it was ‘so sad’ to see so many dead.

Amber Grieve posted several photos to Facebook via her @molliescottagecsl account showing hundreds of creatures washed up at Chapel Point. These included several live hermit crabs and common whelks.

Amber told the Standard: “I’ve never seen a hermit crab on our beach and there were hundreds of them - some in shells and some without.”

Many other residents have expressed sadness at the number of dead creatures. On the Facebook group Skegness Skegness Skegness, Lyn Howard wrote: “How sad, if they were still alive I would go up there to return them to the sea.”

Skegness resident Donna baldwin's photo of piles of sea creatures washed up on the beach.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science has previously warned dog owners not to let their pets eat any shellfish or creatures that wash up due to ‘potentially-lethal toxins’ known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Earlier this year, two dogs died on the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts after ingesting toxic shellfish.

It is advisable for those wishing to rescue and return the small creatures back to the sea to use a bucket and spade to do so - and avoid touching them due to a very small risk to humans from the toxins.

The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) says: “Whilst it is thought unlikely that starfish with high levels of PSP toxins pose a health risk to humans through handling them, as a precaution people should refrain from handling any starfish they might find on the beach.”

For more information about the PSP risk visit this IFCA web page.

A ray fish stranded on the sands near Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve. photo by Rob Watson.

Amber Grieve's photo of one of the hermit crabs washed up at Chapel Point.

A common whelk on the move at Chapel Point. Photo by Amber Grieve.

A seal taking a rest from the rough seas near Gibraltar Point, Skegness. Photo by Rob Watson.

There's life in this old crab yet. Photo taken at Chapel Point by Amber Grieve.

This stranded sea mollusc was washed up at Chapel Point. Photo by Amber Grieve.

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