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Coastguard delayed getting to six people in difficulty after beachgoers cause gridlock in village

PUBLISHED: 16:14 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:16 01 August 2020

Cars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James Denton

Cars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James Denton

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Coastguard crews were delayed reaching six people in difficulty in the water off a Norfolk beach after becoming gridlocked in traffic and parked cars.

Cars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James DentonCars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James Denton

HM Coastguard were called at 11.18am on Friday to reports of six people in difficulty in the water at Winterton.

Winterton and Bacton coastguard rescue teams were called out, along with Hemsby Lifeboat, but the six were safely ashore when crews arrived, before being given safety advice by rescue officers.

Yet with thousands rushing to beaches along the Norfolk coast, many towns and villages quickly became overwhelmed with traffic, including Winterton, with coastguard crews losing precious time in responding to the call.

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Cars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James DentonCars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James Denton

James Denton, of Hermanus Leisure, described it as “the day from hell” for customers and residents alike.

He said: “To say it was hectic would be an understatement.

“The traffic just was not moving at all in the village.

“Three Coastguard vehicles trying to respond to an incident were unable to get through and the locals came out to help people move their cars out of the way.

Cars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James DentonCars parked in Winterton gridlocked the village on July 31. PHOTO: James Denton

“It is quite a lot worse than normal for a sunny day.”


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