Children seen swimming near where Matthew Sherrington died – The Northern Echo | WHs Answers

A warning was issued after young people were spotted swimming near the shore where a teenager died last summer.

It’s been just over a year since 14-year-old Matthew Sherrington lost his life after being washed at sea while playing with friends.

He disappeared on July 15 last year and was found a week later after a massive search.

Hartlepool Borough Council has warned people that it is not safe to bathe off Steetley Pier and the town’s North Sands and Crimdon beaches.

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The warning comes after reports of youngsters swimming off Steetley Pier – a stretch of coast where 14-year-old Matthew died in a tragic accident last year.

Matthew Sherrington

Gemma Ptak, the council’s deputy director (preventive and community-based services), said: “While beaches can be great for a day out, the water can be dangerous and unpredictable.

“We strongly advise against swimming off Steetley Pier and North Sands and Crimdon beaches – it is not safe to do so.

“Steetley in particular is an area where conditions may appear calm but the beach has a number of hazards that are not visible. The water around the pier is a particular hazard as there are channels that create very strong currents as well as sudden deep water and subsurface hazards.

“The best way to avoid currents and stay safe is to choose one of our patrolled beaches and always swim within the areas indicated by the red and yellow marker flags. These indicate that lifeguards are on duty and indicate where it is safe to swim depending on sea conditions that day.

“In light of the recent worrying reports of young people swimming off Steetley Pier, I would also urge parents to ensure they know the whereabouts of their children at all times.”

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Hartlepool Borough Council Beach Lifeguards patrol Seaton Carew beach during the school summer holidays and are on duty daily from Saturday 23 July to Sunday 4 September from 10am to 6pm.

There will be limited emergency medical service at Block Sands. When the red and yellow flags fly, the lifeguards are present.

safety tips

· Obey all lifeguard safety instructions and obey all beach safety signs.

· Swim where lifeguards patrol – within the areas marked by the red and yellow marker flags that indicate where it is safe to swim based on the sea conditions that day.

· Never enter the water when the red flags are flying – this means it is not safe.

· Watch out for rip currents – strong currents that run out to sea and can easily knock swimmers out of their depths.

· Watch out for incoming tides – the sea can come in very quickly and cut you off the water.

· Do not use inflatable boats in the sea – the tides, currents and wind can easily carry you far from shore.

· Waves are very strong – avoid piers, slipways and boardwalks when sea conditions are rough.

· Think before you dive – use extreme caution at all times when diving and never enter waters you are unfamiliar with – there may be hidden dangers such as rocks, currents or shallow depths.

· Never swim alone – you should have someone on hand in case you get into trouble.

· Keep an eye on your friends and family on the beach and in the water.

· If you get into trouble, float on your back, wait until you calm down, then raise your arm and call for help.

· If you see someone in trouble at sea, do not enter the water – summon a lifeguard or call 999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

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