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Walton-on-the-Naze

 

31 May 2009

 

 

 

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There has been considerable slippage at the tower embayment since January, and the site is worthy of a further visit to record this properly, in morning light. The free face has grown and fresh cliff falls can be seen along the whole cliff-line here.

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What was not expected was the presence of the Coastguard on the cliff top, and a small crowd looking down to some trippers trapped on the beach, as high tide neared. Here a launch, coming  south from Harwich, tries to reach the beach, but backs off strongly in the lively seas.

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After the launch came a Sea King from Wattisham, making a number of passes and hovering close to my position. The downdraught blew up material from the slides and was a severe hazard to photographer and camera alike!

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Eventually an inshore lifeboat, most likely from Harwich zipped down the coast and the helicopter then lowered a crewman by winch.

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The inshore boat sheltered behind the A-frame Tower breakwater as the man was lowered to the beach.

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The helo crewman was joined by a coastguard, who has abseiled off the cliff and made his way to the family on the beach. After some discussion, both men were winched off and the Sea King left the trippers where they were. This may, or may not, have had something to do with the prolonged 'moonie' given the watching crowd by  one of the teenagers in the party!

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The Sea King prepares to leave, after dropping off the Coastguard member. I assume the family, now the tide was falling, eventually left the area.

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Walton-on-the-Naze  Breakwater Tower coasts cliffs erosion beaches groynes clay sand defences mobile slides rotational slumps  rescue Sea King Helicopter RNLI muppets

 

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