'Get out of the sea' tannoy warning sounded at Welsh beach as people enjoy sunny weather

People were ordered out of the sea at this Welsh beach
People were ordered out of the sea at this Welsh beach -Credit:UGC

Visitors to one of Wales' most popular beaches were abruptly ordered out of the water due to concerns over "water quality". On Saturday afternoon, May 18, hundreds of families were enjoying the warm weather at Barry Island when they were instructed to leave the water.

The Gwyl Fach y Fro festival was in full swing at the time, with music, street entertainment, craft stalls and food and drink drawing large crowds. The beach was bustling with people enjoying performances by Vale school children and stars like Sage Todz, reports WalesOnline.

However, around 4pm, a 'water quality' announcement over the tannoy asked everyone to exit the sea following an alert indicating it was unsafe for swimming. This warning followed a recent report from charity Surfers Against Sewage, which highlighted that 19 beach and seafront locations in Wales had been polluted by storm sewage or received poor water classification, including across North Wales.

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A pollution alert was issued for Barry Island beach, stating: "Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours. The bay is a sandy 700m cove located, west of Barry Docks and Jackson s Bay. It faces south towards the Bristol Channel, backed by the dock area and the town of Barry. Seaside shops can be found in the immediate foreground, with limestone cliffs on either side and headlands called Friars Point to the west and Nell s Point to the east."

Hayley Graham, from Barry, went to the beach with her children aged eight and one after the festival. Her youngest daughter was in the water when they heard the tannoy announcement to get out.

She said: "We were so shocked when we heard the announcement. We know that there can be issues with sewage on the beach but you do not expect it on a warm and sunny weekend. There was a lot of confusion and upset. We took the children home and scrubbed them because they had been fully immersed in the water. Even the smallest amount of raw sewage in the water is enough.["

One parent said: "]It's so embarrassing that this happened during a high profile cultural event when people were cooling off on a hot day as they enjoyed the festival." Another said: "Lifeguards at Barry Island just told everyone to get out of the water due to low water quality."

Dwr Cymru/ Welsh Water said it had not issued any safety alerts for the area. Vale of Glamorgan Council and Natural Resources Wales have been approached for a comment.

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