Beach plight of boat owners

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 16:41 14 April 2010

Boat owners at Sidmouth were left land locked" by last weekend's storm which took away shingle from their beach at Port Royal. It reduced the level some two feet, leaving them with an impossible drop. They will now have to club together once again to pay

Boat owners at Sidmouth were left "land locked" by last weekend's storm which took away shingle from their beach at Port Royal. It reduced the level some two feet, leaving them with an impossible drop. They will now have to club together once again to pay for a digger to replenish the beach to enable larger boats to launch. John Govier, a member of the boat owners' association, said it was a recurring problem, probably worsened by tidal changes caused by the offshore breakwaters pushing the shingle further out to sea. "We have a major problem because with any fairly big gale we lose the shingle at Port Royal," he said. "Bringing in a digger to put the shingle back is very much a temporary measure." The district council, which charges boat owners both a winch and a beach fee, said the owners had agreed to redistribute shingle where necessary. For the council to do it on a frequent basis would clearly impose an unsustainable strain on the public purse.

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