Dangerous sinking sands 'impossible' to predict - will council put up signs?

·2-min read
Brighton and Hove City Council has responded after several people say they recently "sunk" in sand
Brighton and Hove City Council has responded after several people say they recently "sunk" in sand

A COUNCIL said it is impossible to predict when a beach will become dangerous after a pensioner fractured her wrist in sinking sand.

A 70-year-old known only as Trina was “up to her knees” in sand on the beach near Hove Lagoon on Saturday after moving to allow a “large group” past.

She became stuck and fell forward on to her wrist, fracturing it in two places.

But Brighton and Hove City Council said there is nothing it can do to prevent such incidents, saying a “natural phenomenon” that can happen at any pebbly beach is to blame.

The Argus: A person stuck in the sand on Hove beach recently
The Argus: A person stuck in the sand on Hove beach recently

A person stuck in the sand on Hove beach recently

“During the current tidal season there is a much bigger movement of water down off the pebbles after high tide as the sea recedes,” a city council spokesman said.

“This extra weight of water sometimes loosens areas of sand below the pebble line.

“This phenomenon can happen at any pebbly beach. It is due to natural forces and is impossible to predict.

“Small areas of soft sand appear randomly and tend to disappear quickly.”

The recent full moon caused a spring tide, meaning water levels are exceptionally high when the tide is in, and extremely low when it is out.

"Our standard advice remains the same: people should respect the sea,” the city council spokesman said.

The Argus: The beach near the i360 saw an exceptionally low tide last Saturday
The Argus: The beach near the i360 saw an exceptionally low tide last Saturday

The beach near the i360 saw an exceptionally low tide last Saturday

“People venturing out to areas between the tidal ranges should do so with caution as the tidal shoreline can present various hazards.

“We’re sorry to hear of people having problems with soft sand along our seafront at the moment.”

But Adele Gee, a friend of Trina’s and year-round sea swimmer, said there should be notices to warn people of the risk.

She told The Argus: “It might just make people think twice about walking there.

“When you think of the amount of stay-cations – there’s just not enough coverage or even knowledge.”

But when pressed on whether it would consider signage, the city council did not respond.