Rock danger at beach
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.