Beachgoers Get Stuck In Mudflats While Trying To Reach The Sea
Groups of beachgoers became trapped in mudflats in Weston-super-Mare attempting to reach the sea.
An eyewitness said more than 100 people attempted to cross the mudflats to reach the waters on the Somerset coast, with many sinking into the soft ground below and struggling to make it back to the shore.
As temperatures soared, the coastguard was called out to help people who got stuck in the mud.
An eyewitness told Somerset Live: "There were over 100 people seen making their way across the mud to reach the sea.
"Some were carrying children and were observed struggling to get back to the shore."
The UK government has threatened to close beaches to the public following on from a 'major incident' being declared in Bournemouth yesterday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said officials were 'perfectly prepared' to 'take action' after thousands flocked to beaches for the hottest day of the year.
In an interview with TalkRadio, Hancock said: "We do have that power [to close beaches]. I am reluctant to use it because people have had a pretty tough lockdown and I want everybody to enjoy the sunshine.
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"But the key is to do it with respect for the rules - stay with your household, stay a good distance from other households."
He also said that if there is a second spike in the number of Covid-19 cases 'then we will take action', adding that the coronavirus 'does not respect that it's a hot summer's day'.
The sheer numbers of people flocking to beaches in Bournemouth prompted the council to declare a 'major incident', with a multi-agency emergency response activated to co-ordinate resources across the area.
Services were left completely overstretched, resulting in widespread problems of illegal parking, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour, gridlock on roads and prohibited overnight camping.
BCP Council issued 558 parking enforcement fines - the highest on record. Roads in and out of the area were heavily congested into the early hours of the morning.
It was also claimed that crews were abused as they attempted to empty overflowing bins on the seafront.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council Leader Vikki Slade said: "We are absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches, particularly at Bournemouth and Sandbanks, in the last 24-48 hours.
"The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe. We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response."
She added: "We are not in a position to welcome visitors in these numbers now or to deal with the full range of problems associated with managing volumes of people like this. PLEASE do not come. We are not able to welcome you yet."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS