December 12 2013 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Sunday, August 25, 2013
The postponed Sheringham Raft Race will be held on Sunday September 8 at 11am, it has been confirmed.
An exceptionally high tide and heavy swell forced organisers to cancel this morning’s planned race.
Hundreds of onlookers lined the west promenade and a motley 11 craft and their crews waited on the beach ready for an expected 11am start.
But when organisers launched a dinghy to test the waters it was flipped over by a strong wave.
Race organiser Graham Deans said: “We delayed it for an hour but conditions didn’t improve so we took advice from the RNLI and decided that we had to cancel it which was a shame, but safety has to come first. We don’t want a repeat of the Southwold disaster with people getting into trouble. Safety has to come first.”
In May, 85 people had to be rescued by RNLI lifeboat crew and lifeguards after getting into difficulties in a strong current during an organised swim from Southwold Pier.
The raft race was intended as a finale to the successful Sheringham Carnival held earlier this month.
Mr Deans said all the raft crews hoped to return for the re-scheduled race and some extra people had said they would make a craft in time for the new date.