Rock dan­ger at beach

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

A CON­CERNED swim­mer is fight­ing for sig­nage to warn oth­ers of hid­den dan­gers at a popular beach.

Mark Neal re­ceived some ‘‘nasty in­juries’’ to his hands and leg while swim­ming at Herne Bay’s Cre­morne Re­serve ear­lier this year.

He says he was swim­ming just out to the left of the beach’s cen­tre when he hit upon what he thinks may have been some sharp oys­ter shells on rocks in the wa­ter.

‘‘My leg got caught and I pushed away from it with my hands – I didn’t no­tice un­til I got out that I had a deep gash on my leg and my hands were a bit cut up.

‘‘It didn’t re­ally bother me but if a kid dives un­der the wa­ter and goes un­der with their face they could end up with some nasty in­juries.’’

He has been cor­re­spond­ing with Auck­land Coun­cil since Jan­uary, re­quest­ing they in­stall a sign to warn other swim­mers.

The coun­cil says it has not had any other re­port of this dan­ger at the beach.

But the Auck­land coast- line is ‘‘full of hid­den dan­gers in the chang­ing tides – sharp rocks, oysters and slimy ar­eas,’’ it says.

Lo­cal and Sports Parks Cen­tral manager Jane Aickin says while coun­cil is con­cerned for peo­ple’s wel­fare, rocks at beaches are a nat­u­ral haz­ard around Auck­land, par­tic­u­larly in ti­dal ar­eas or be­tween beaches.

‘‘We ask the public to take a pre­cau­tion­ary ap­proach. This sec­tion of coast­line, like much of the in­ner har­bour, has a range of shal­low rocky out­crops near the fore­shore. The sign­post­ing of ev­ery haz­ard at a beach will lead to mul­ti­ple signs and greatly di­min­ish their ef­fec­tive­ness.’’

Neal is dis­ap­pointed with the coun­cil’s stance on the mat­ter.

The Grey Lynn res­i­dent may end up mak­ing a sign him­self to put up on the beach in time for next sum­mer, he says.

‘‘It would just be nice to have a sign down there warn­ing peo­ple of the dan­gers.

‘‘It’s not go­ing to be a mas­sive deal to put it to­gether but be­fore I do it, it’s more the prin­ci­ple of it be­cause that ex­cuse [by the coun­cil] doesn’t wash to be hon­est.’’

Neal says he doesn’t want to put peo­ple off us­ing the popular swim­ming spot but would like them to take care when tak­ing a dip.

‘‘It is a good spot for swim­ming and when you know where the dan­ger zones are you’re all right,’’ he says.

Free­mans Bay res­i­dent Coco Laporte says she would also like to see signs in­stalled warn­ing of any dan­gers.

Laporte had been swim­ming at the beach for the past 16 years un­til re­cently.

‘‘Just this year I no­ticed I was get­ting cut, the oys­ter was get­ting worse year af­ter year but this year was re­ally, re­ally bad.’’

Mark Neal wants to warn other swim­mers af­ter in­jur­ing him­self on what he thinks may have been some sharp oys­ter shells on rocks in the wa­ter at Herne Bay’s Cre­morne Re­serve.

Cre­morne Re­serve, Herne Bay.

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