Rock armour will put lives at risk, says surfer

Steve Crawford says rock armour will be dangerous to people in the sea
Steve Crawford says rock armour will be dangerous to people in the sea

The South Bay’s proposed sea defences are a matter of life and death - that’s the stark message from a local surf teacher.

Scarborough Council has approved plans for the £16.6 million installation of rock armour at the Spa as part of a sea defence project to protect the South Cliff.

The option of rock armour was chosen ahead of a £22 million stepped concrete revetment with a wave wall.

Many have since contested the choice, with the latest criticism coming from surf tutor and environmental campaigner Steve Crawford, who has voiced serious concerns for the safety of people using the South Bay for recreational activities.

He said: “Someone will die. It is as dangerous as that.

“The rock armour will cause a great deal of danger to people in the sea. The natural currents that run across that part of the bay will be altered, and people will instead be dragged straight into concrete boulders.

“The council has picked surfing as an industry to promote for Scarborough and for tourism, yet if this rock armour is introduced it will be unsafe to surf in the South Bay.

“If people get washed up onto the armour they will be unaccessible from the land, and it will be too dangerous to reach them from the sea. It is a tragedy waiting to happen. More research needs to be done.”

Mr Crawford said he has spoken to lifeguards on the South Bay who share his concerns.

Officers from Scarborough Council will be presenting the proposed rock armour sea defence scheme at a public information session on Wednesday, April 24, at 7pm at the Promenade Lounge at the Spa.