Emergency services issue safety warnings ahead of high tides

The River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8.30am on Friday 13th January 2017.

The River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8.30am on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Emergency services have united to issue safety warnings, but say there are prepared for the worst, as the borough continues to brace itself for a tidal surge.

Police have confirmed around 5,000 homes are set to be evacuated, with officers and military personnel already in the process of informing those affected.

Now, representatives from the police, coastguard and fire services have advised people to steer clear from seafront areas.

Chief Inspector Nathan Clark of Great Yarmouth Police said: 'I can't stress enough how much danger you are leaving yourself in by standing near the seafront. By standing in these areas you are putting your life at risk, so please move inland for your own safety.

'The very reason the environmental services and the Met Office issue these warnings is because there is a very real risk of death.'

The police are working as part of a multi-agency operation with the coastguard, police, firefighters and the borough council, with high tide expected around 9.30pm.

Liz Hustler, senior coastal operations for the coastguard, said: 'While we appreciate that waves can be spectacular, they can immediately turn extremely dangerous.

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'The biggest message we can give is to stay well away from coastal paths, piers and seafronts. Be mindful of just how dangerous the tides can be.

'We have units on standby in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Hemsby and our teams are fully competent and highly trained should they be called upon, but keeping away from these areas would help emergency services like ourselves.'

Stuart Horth, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Services district manager for the East of Norfolk said additional support has been brought in from across the country, including the West Midlands, Hereford and Northamptonshire.

He said: 'We are prepared for anything have crews offering advice to members of the public across the region. Situations like these are what we are trained for and will draw on experience of the previous times this has happened.

'My advice would be to keep in touch with what is going on through the media and stay mindful of what is going on, If you are asked to evacuate your homes, do so, and stay well away from seafront areas.'

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