Hornsea boatyard owners warned after riders on hired jet skis illegally entered Bridlington Harbour

East Riding Council officers have spoken with Hornsea boatyard operators after a group hired jet skis there and rode them into Bridlington’s harbour.

Bridlington Harbour

East Riding Council officers have spoken with Hornsea boatyard operators after a group hired jet skis there and rode them into Bridlington’s harbour.

East Riding Council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee heard the entry of jet skis into Bridlington harbour’s was reported to Humberside Police.

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Destinations facilities manager Alex Crutchley said those involved in the incident, which took place about a month ago, were identified at the time.

He added council officers had since spoken with operators based in Hornsea’s boatyard to “remind them of their responsibilities” to help keep beach users and wildlife safe.

The meeting also saw councillors recommend sending speakers into schools to discuss the dangers of jumping into water from a height, or tombstoning.

They heard it was hard to stop because it was only covered by local bylaws, limiting the action the police could take against it.

It comes as councillors heard the incidents reported to Coastguards rose by around eight per cent from 2019 to 2020, including a “massive spike” between July and September.

Frances Wilkins, of the Humber Coastguard, told the committee the rise in pandemic staycations contributed to the increase in incidents and had seen issues including tourists unaware of tidal movements.

David Scott, of the RNLI, told councillors they had called on seafront shops to stop selling inflatables to avoid tourists sailing them out to sea.

The committee heard the RNLI currently runs three stations manned by volunteers in the East Riding at Bridlington, Flamborough and Withernsea.

The organisation also runs one crewed by full time staff at Spurn Point, with independent lifeboat stations also operating from Hornsea and under the Humber Bridge.

Councillors also heard that crews from Bridlington’s station saved two lives in the four years up to 2020, both in 2019.

An average of 30 to 40 people were aided by crews but were not injured a year between 2016 and 2020 while four people died.

Councillors also heard retaining lifeboat volunteers could be “challenging” as it was hard to find recruit who could leave their full time jobs for call outs.

Ms Wilkins said 40 per cent of all Coastguard call outs for 2020 took place between July and September when coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased during summer.

She added recent measures brought it included offering children a waterproof wristband their parents could write their phone numbers on so they could be reunited if lost.

She said: “We saw a massive spike in incidents when we had nice weather that August. This year hasn’t been as busy as 2020, we expected it to be horrendous but it wasn’t as bad.

“Incidents we were called out to included missing children and people getting carried out by the tide.

“We’ve also seen a change in beach users during the pandemic, those who are coming are ones who wouldn’t have previously because they’ve been forced to stay in the country for holidays.

“People who would usually holiday in the Mediterranean in somewhere like Greece for example are used to beaches with no tides, but they come here and there’s a tide to deal with.”

Mr Scott said the pandemic had left beaches busy regardless of the weather, adding people taking inflatables out to see had been a “persistent issue”.

He said: “We use education programmes to inform people of the dangers of that but we get visitors coming from elsewhere who won’t have seen that.

“The only enforcement we can do is to ask seafront businesses not to supply them to people directly.

“We can’t stop people bringing their own but we can reduce their availability and stop people making snap purchases, but it’s difficult because they need to trade and make a living.”