Bexhill’s beaches should be fun for many, not just the few

From: Hilary Rhodes, South Cliff, Bexhill

I wholeheartedly endorse the view expressed by Stephen Atkinson-Jones in last week’s Observer (Help us protect our peaceful beach) and to expand his concern to include the whole of the seafront from Herbrand Walk to Ravenside.

Rother District Council has let the population of Bexhill down badly by permitting jet skis to launch from Herbrand Walk.

The council and legal team must find a way to ban jet skis from our beaches.

Cabinet members and Councillors criticised this move, especially Cllr Hollidge.

The residents along the coast and further inland, the beach hut owners, swimmers, tourists and families who come for days out all value what Bexhill has to offer: a safe family coastline, from Herbrand Walk to Ravenside.

Endorsing jet skis at any point, along this precious coastline will cause environmental damage forever.

Their noise can be heard at least half a mile before they arrive and another half mile after they have passed and riders pay scant regard to the enjoyment of any other beach users.

The overriding concern, quite rightly, is safety of swimmers.

The jet ski owners who recklessly ignore the ban also blatantly breach the safety regulations for powered water craft by riding inside the buoys along the coast, endangering all sea users.

This has been witnessed along the sea front from Cooden to Bexhill beach, emphasising the fact that the danger is clearly not confined to the launch site.

In fact it will increase it as Herbrand Walk becomes a magnet for this anti-social sport, additionally, carving up the pebbles with the 4x4s driving to the water’s edge.

Coastal Officers must be given the authority to proceed to the next step in reporting those who ignore the ban.

There are four water sport centres along the East Sussex coast that cater for all aspects of jet ski and swimmer safety.

Hastings and Eastbourne do not accommodate jet skis and nor should we.

Furthermore, RDC approved this at a council meeting on September 3, just before winter, when jet skiing is probably not an attractive sport.

Unless we encourage our elected councillors to return the negative message this ‘nettle’ will become a ‘thorn’ and our coast will be blighted forever.

Please do not let this sport make our coastline inhospitable to all who take pleasure and quiet enjoyment daily, weekly, seasonally and annually.

Keep it – fun for the many not the few!