Seaton has a fine esplanade

PUBLISHED: 13:35 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 15 June 2010

I am surprised to learn that Seaton beach is a focus for health and safety. It has a very long history as a safe fishing and catch landing beach. It has safe offshore moorings for visiting and local leisure craft and has long been used as a launching b

I am surprised to learn that Seaton beach is a focus for health and safety. It has a very long history as a safe fishing and catch landing beach. It has safe offshore moorings for visiting and local leisure craft and has long been used as a launching beach for fishing and pleasure boats, and from which wreck divers can explore the 500-plus plotted wrecks in Lyme Bay. Safe swimming areas are marked out each summer and motor boat exclusion zones are set up (though too often ignored by the ill informed). The fishing and diving boat Bonito was popular for years, launching from a mobile jetty - a jetty which gave pleasure to local children and afforded a good mooring point for visiting craft. Stuart Lines has re-opened informative pleasure trip opportunities that have not been seen here for many decades and I wish them continued success at a time when our coastline has World Heritage status and is attracting large numbers of visitors. We have one of the finest, most accessible esplanades in the West Country, which includes two excellent launching ramps. Instead of retreating into some bureaucratic safety zone, why not build out from this excellent base and reclaim some of the lost history of our beach. Instead of condemning our beach to a barren, stony, wasteland, why not take the cue from Stuart Lines and build a concrete jetty out from Fisherman's Gap?For a fraction of the costs incurred in the raising of two vast groynes and the rock armouring of Sidmouth beach, a concrete jetty could be built out from this historic point, to enable fisherman, leisure craft, commercial ferries and a host of local and tourist enterprises to benefit.The sea may be powerful and unforgiving but, with the right approach in the right hands, it will always yield its benefits and safeguard those who honour and respect its power. Seaton, without a productive and pleasurable sea, makes no sense.Tony HillSeaton

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