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Beer fisherman experiences storm woe

12:00 22 February 2014

Devastated: Brian Sanderson.

Devastated: Brian Sanderson.

Archant

A Beer fisherman has told of his sorrow after severe storms smashed up his beach-based business in Seaton – causing more than £5,000 worth of damage in the process.

All that remains of Brian's landing stage is a mangled mess.All that remains of Brian's landing stage is a mangled mess.

Brian Sanderson, of Park Road, said he is mourning his livelihood after his concession on the seafront was lifted and ripped apart by the gale force winds.

The 70-year-old, who has lived in Seaton and Beer for more than 30 years, took people out on mackerel fishing trips and tours before the weather hit.

Brian said: “I’ve been on the water for 25 years and they were definitely the worst storms Devon has had to endure for as long as I can remember.

“The other locals were saying they have not seen anything like it.”

The storms destroyed Brian’s winch and landing stage in Fisherman’s Gap in Seaton, leaving them both far too damaged to repair.

He has since visited his site to try and salvage anything from the wreckage.

Brian said: “The winch was bolted to a concrete slab some 12 inches thick.

“At the height of the storms, I went to see how the equipment was faring. The slab was nowhere to be seen and the winch was smashed to bits.

“I couldn’t get in on the site because the council had locked the gates.”

Brian’s landing stage was also uprooted and was left only recognisable as a tangled mess of debris.

“It looked like someone had folded it in half,” Brian said.

“I’m devastated. I now have to look to the future and try and put myself back into business. I can not afford to replace the parts, so I am hoping I can borrow them for the time being.”

Beach huts on the Branscombe coastline also bore the brunt of the hazardous weather.

One hut owner said: “Branscombe Beach is a scene of quite some devastation. Several of the chalets are now impossible to save, and the roadway serving all those to the west of Branscombe Mouth is completely gone.”

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