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Photo gallery: People rescued from Cromer Pier as spectacular waves smash into seafront

21:26 05 December 2013

Flood water breaches the pier forecourt at Cromer. Photo: Duncan Abel.

Flood water breaches the pier forecourt at Cromer. Photo: Duncan Abel.

Archant

Six people had to be rescued from Cromer pier when they became marooned during a fishing trip on the storm battered jetty.

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Coastguards attached safety lines to each of the stricken men to guide them back to dry land, as knee-high water surged along the promenade - and towering waves exploded into the air as they slammed into the sea walls.

Cromer coastguard station officer Jim Lilley said officers were scrambled after a 999 call.

The men aged from 30s to 50s were fishing near the Pavilion Theatre pier. They had given up but could not get back to safety.

Coastguards, led by Kathryn Leigh, used water rescue gear - lifejackets and lines - to help each person in an operation that took about half an hour.

The men were “grateful to be rescued” and were given “safety advice” by coastguards.

The sea was right up to the decking on the pier, and had damaged a length of seawall to the west of the pier near the amusement arcade.

A mobile fish bar at the bottom of the Melbourne slope had also been moved by the flood.

Concern was growing for the RNLI Henry Blogg museum on the east promenade, and about the storm doors on the pier end lifeboat station - taking the full force of the northerly surge.

Lifeboat coxswain John Davies said he had not seen the sea as bad for many years.

“I think the boat will be safe, but I am more worried about the station doors,” he added.

A gathering of hardy folk gathered in front of the Hotel de Paris watching the spectacle of the water smashing into the seafront, illuminated by the promenade and pier lights.

Coastguards said there was a lot of debris in the water - both in the sea and along the prom - probably from damaged beach huts.

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