Lifeboat volunteers praised by mayor as work continues to demolish homes and clear beach
PUBLISHED: 15:32 24 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:39 24 March 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
The mayor of Great Yarmouth has praised the efforts of the lifeboat crew who have been at the heart of the response to the Hemsby homes erosion.
Kerry Robinson-Payne visited the Marrams where three clifftop chalets have now been ripped down by heavy machinery.
More than a dozen members of the independent Hemsby Lifeboat Station have been working around the clock, along with other emergency services, to deal with the severe beach erosion at Hemsby.
The lifeboat volunteers have been on patrol duties since last weekend and are now working to clear debris from the homes which has fallen onto the beach.
Mrs Robinson-Payne visited the area for the first time since the devastation, and was shown the true extent of the situation by Daniel Hurd, Hemsby Lifeboat coxswain.
Addressing the crew, she said: “I can’t commend you all enough for what you have done in these difficult circumstances.
“You’ve got my thanks and the thanks of the borough.”
Work will continue tomorrow to demolish two more chalets dangling over the cliff, with eight more homes still at “very significant risk.”
Mrs Robinson-Payne said: “I had seen the pictures on the TV but I don’t think anything prepared me for what I actually saw today. It’s really devastating scenes.
“I was very shocked and very saddened.
“I’ve been here several times with the guys in better weather, but to see the coast disappear and the beach where they’ve had the Herring Festival, and various events and fetes, and you just think where’s the beach gone. Never mind the poor people on the clifftops, it’s just unbelievable.”
As well as praising the lifeboat volunteers, coastguard and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Mrs Robinson-Payne said it had been a great community effort.
“Everyone has really worked hard and brought all their own skills and their own time to help out the community,” she said. “They have all really rallied round and been fantastic, really helping each other.”
The demolition work is being carried out by Anglian Demolition and Asbestos Ltd and it is hoped to be completed in time for the Easter break.
Both the borough council and Hemsby Lifeboat Station have warned people to stay away while the work is being carried out.