Sidmouth beach litter leaves boy with five stitches in leg

Nathan Riley.

Nathan Riley. - Credit: Archant

A little boy was left with five stitches in his leg after cutting himself on a broken, abandoned, disposable barbecue on Sidmouth beach.

Nathan's stitches.

Nathan's stitches. - Credit: Archant

Seven-year-old Nathan Riley was out with his dad on August 4, doing some sea fishing off Jacob’s Ladder beach, when he stepped on a broken barbecue griddle.

Simon Vacher, one of Nathan’s father’s friends, said they were fishing, ironically discussing the problem of beach litter, when Nathan let out a ‘blood curdling scream of pain and dismay’.

“We turned round to see two throbbing wounds gushing with blood coming from his lower calf.

“He had been lacerated by the sharp corners of a disposable barbecue griddle that had been discarded on the beach.”

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Nathan was rushed to A&E at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with a jumper tied around his leg to stop the bleeding.

The boy’s mum, Agnieszka Orlowska, 33, of Temple Street, said the barbecue had cut quite deeply into her son’s leg.

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She added: “It could have been a lot worse than five stitches. Luckily he had trainers on, otherwise it could have gone straight through his foot.

“He was really upset, especially since it ruined his fishing trip.

“I understand it is nice to have a barbecue on the beach. However, I think people should tidy up after themselves.”

Agnieszka said it was not just barbecues, people also left broken glass, paper and plastic on the beach, which was dangerous for adults, children and dogs alike and also ‘ruined Sidmouth’s beautiful beach’.

“I think this is a big problem. I would like to see people being more careful and aware.

“I think we need to raise awareness… People should be aware of their actions and the impact they can have on other people who just want to enjoy the beach.

“Nathan is OK and has gone back on the beach, but he is a lot more careful now.”

Lynette Talbot, from Sidcombers, said there was an issue with people disposing of barbecues safely.

She added the best thing to do was to put it out using water and stack it neatly next to the bin.

Lynette said people often buried barbecues under the rocks and so sometimes they would not be found until they had broken into rusted bits.

A beach clean-up will be held tomorrow, between 2pm and 4pm.

The group will be meeting at the west end of The Esplanade near the bus shelter.

Volunteers are welcome.

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