Concern over rock threat to boats
COUNCIL bosses have been accused of putting livelihoods at risk after sand shifted at the harbour to expose bedrock.
A fisherman, who wishes to remain anonymous, says Cornwall Council has been neglecting the issue, which he fears could result in sightseeing boats, pleasure boats and commercial fishing vessels moored at the harbour being damaged.
The issue has reportedly been raised at a Newquay Harbour Committee meeting, but Geoff Brown, the Cornwall councillor for Newquay Central, who is also a fisherman and a RNLI volunteer deputy launching authority, says he has only just been made aware there is a problem and is now in discussion with Andy Brigden, the marine manager for Cornwall Council, to see if measures need to be implemented.
There are around 15 boats currently moored at the harbour, which could treble at the end of the month when the season gets underway.
The fisherman said: “There is a lack of sand at the harbour beach and it has been like it since 2012 when the gales exposed a lot of rock. The sand has not come back. The rock could damage the boats, especially the small pleasure boats, which are wooden hulled. Cornwall Council knows about the problem but is doing nothing about it.
“The authority does not seem to be that interested in addressing the issue. That is the wrong attitude when a lot of people’s livelihoods depend on it. People cannot just up sticks and move.
“The sand seems to be leaving the quay and going up to other beaches, such as Towan and Great Western.”
Cllr Brown says that when the council has previously covered the bedrock with sand it has been stripped away almost immediately.
He added: “Whoever the fisherman is who raised this is being quite naughty as I have only just heard about these concerns
“There is not a lot I can do in three hours. Cornwall Council is not ignoring the problem. It is the first I have been made aware of it.
“I’m speaking with Andy Brigden about the issue. The problem is we have acted before and it’s been a wasted effort. We had a digger down there and moved the sand around to cover the exposed rock and what happens is within 48 hours the sand has shifted again. The situation we are in is down to the direction of the wind and swell scouring the harbour. When the wind and tide changes it will re-bed itself.
“I’m not aware of any boats being damaged at the moment because where the vessels are there is sand.
“When all the boats go in for the summer at the end of this month there might be problems. The harbourmaster has previously relocated boats until the sand comes back. I will find out if the council plans on doing anything more dramatic.”