Shipwreck exposed by erosion on Norfolk beach
- Credit: James Bensly
The remains of a shipwreck have been exposed along with a raft of detritus along a Norfolk beach.
The east coast is recovering after Storm Darcy swept across the region stripping beaches of their sand.
At Winterton the beach is noticeably lower, the once sandy stretch reduced to a sea of stones.
Further south at Hemsby the shoreline has been similarly ravaged, an estimated 10ft snatched away virtually overnight in places.
Below the vulnerable Marrams the amount of material lost has been so great that a shipwreck not seen for decades has been exposed.
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As well as being a marker for the severity of this winter's brutal weather the exposed timbers poking through the sand have been sparking curiosity.
James Bensly, borough councillor and beach cafe owner, said the wreck was fascinating to see.
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He said he understood it to be the wreck of the fishing trawler The Unity which was sunk in 1899 after five crew were rescued by Winterton lifeboat.
The service history of the Edward Birkbeck which was saving lives from 1896 to 1924 reveal it went to the aid of the Dandy Unity of Lowestoft on November 8 1899 and that five lives had indeed been saved.
Mr Bensly, 42, who has lived in the village all his life, said he had never before seen the remains uncovered - the shifting sands already beginning to bury them once more.
Meanwhile, the beach looked like "a war zone" with scaffolding, brickwork, pipes, paving stones, sand bags, and electricity cables strewn all over it - a reminder of previous erosion catastrophes when houses on land long-gone collapsed into the sea.
In the aftermath of the Beast from the East in 2018 a dozen homes were demolished before they were taken, but in 2013 during the disastrous storm surge some homes slid off the dunes without warning and others were damaged.
The debris is thought to be left from that period, a stark reminder of how much land had been lost in less than a decade.
At Hemsby the beach has dropped so much the lifeboat is unable to launch.
Mr Bensly said a clean-up operation involving the lifeboat crew would likely get under way in the next few days, some of the debris being of possible use to homeowner Lance Martin in his battle to save his clifftop home from the sea.
Mr Bensly added: "We are a resilient bunch. Our only fear is getting another storm while the beach is in this condition."