Bad weather kills thousands of sea creatures in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea

Thousands of sea creatures have washed up on the beach across the East Coast. Photo credit: Lianne Havell.
Thousands of sea creatures have washed up on the beach across the East Coast. Photo credit: Lianne Havell.

The big clean up has started in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea after the ‘Beast from the East’ and ‘Storm Emma’ caused chaos - leaving behind battered beach huts and thousands of dead sea creatures which had been stranded on the beach.

With Easter just weeks away, authorities face a race against time to get the coastal resorts ready to welcome the first crowd of tourists at the start of the 2018 season.

The high winds last week caused havoc in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea. Photo Credit: Mablethorpe Photo Album.

The high winds last week caused havoc in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea. Photo Credit: Mablethorpe Photo Album.

Sutton on Sea resident Lianne Havell, who is a trained marine mammal medic for the British Divers’ Marine Life Rescue, said she saw thousands of marine animals washed up ashore.

She described the scene as ‘heartbreaking.’

Reports suggest high seasonal tides were a factor.

She said: “I have never seen anything like it before.

“There were piles and piles of them when we first went out on Sunday.

“There were sunstars, weaver fish, sea mice, shore crabs and starfish - to name but a few.

“Some were dead, but others were still alive so we did what we could to get as many of them back into the sea as possible.

“It wasn’t just here. It’s happened on coastal beaches all over the country.”

Mrs Havell admitted it was heartbreaking to see but warned dogs should be kept well clear as a number of the sea creatures can be poisonous.

Mrs Havell and her family also removed 120kgs of rubbish from the beach, including containers, gloves, rope and fishing wire.

In the Wolds, isolated communities had been cut off by driving snow, but on the coast, residents revealed it was the freezing cold winds - whipped in from Siberia - that caused most of the mayhem.

One local resident, who did not want to be named, recalled cutting winds ‘cracked’ his fingertips open as he battled the elements.

He told the Leader: “The weather conditions were abominable.

“It was more the horrendous windchill that caused the chaos for the coast, rather than the snow.

“I was out getting photographs with fingerless gloves on to help push the buttons more effectively, but the winds turned the temperatures to around -8 and I ended up with cracked fingertips.”

The man, whose pictures appear on the Mablethorpe Photo Album, said he saw a lot of dead birds on the beach - but praised the local Coastguard for keeping watch at the critical tide time

As a result of the weather, sand was blown onto the promenades in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea.

East Lindsey District Council began the clean up on Saturday.

Neighbourhood Services Manager, Danny Wilson, said: “Teams have been busy clearing sand that has drifted onto the council’s foreshore parks and gardens, paths, promenades and roads, but the task will take some time yet to complete.

“Our teams are undertaking this task as a priority.”

A number of privately-owned beach huts were also damaged, with some roofs being ripped off.

An ELDC spokesman confirmed they had been made aware of the damage and contacted the Beach Hut Owner’s Association, urging members to check their properties - once the weather improved.