by Rebecca Hannant
Hornsea Inshore Rescue and commercial fishermen have called for repairs to be made to the South Promenade slipway after low beach levels caused safety and accessibility issues.
The underlying clay has become soft, while sand has washed away, leaving the slipway with a significant drop, making it difficult to use.
East Riding Council has pledged to fix the problem by extending the slipway so that it runs down to the lower levels. However, the lifeboat charity and fishermen are calling for the slipway to be rebuilt.
Sue Hickson-Marsay of Hornsea Inshore Rescue said: “Basically, the sand is disappearing at the bottom of the ramp, creating a bit of a hole. It is making a big impact on our trailer and could damage the lifeboat.
“The council is going to repair it, but they really need to do a permanent job.”
A spokesman for East Riding Council said: “Beach levels at Hornsea and several other frontages have been low for a while, but this has been made worse by recent rough seas.
“These low beach levels make it difficult for the fishermen to use the Hornsea slipway, as the lower beach levels limit the time they’re able to operate on the beach and it exposes the underlying clay which has become soft and difficult to cross.
“Over the past few days, the lowering beach levels have now also created a drop of the end of the slipway, making it impossible to use.
“There is a second older slipway 500m north opposite Sands Lane/Leisure Centre, but this is accessed by road so the fishermen may not be able to use it.
“To help ease this situation we intend to extend the existing slipway so that it reaches the lower levels. This will make the slipway useable but not solve the other issues.
“We have met a contractor to discuss how this is to be done. The work could then start next week and would take about a week to do.
“As a longer-term solution, the fishermen would like the council to reconstruct the slipway so that it also runs south along the face of the seawall, ending at the top of the beach.
“This would be expensive and difficult to do using the available budgets and may take a long time, but we are investigating to see if this is possible.”