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Detailed inspections of Boscombe’s surf reef have concluded that a boat has collided with the reef.
The reef was closed as a precautionary safety measure on 31st March, and the remains of a damaged bag are being removed from the reef as soon as possible, again as a precautionary safety measure.
Tony Williams the Council’s Executive Director for Environment and Economy said,
“We have had several extremely productive meetings with ASR, C&S Diving and the bag manufacturer over the last few days, and spent time reviewing video and photographic evidence.
"This has confirmed that one bag has largely disintegrated, with what appears to be propeller damage to the adjacent bag.
"This needs to be addressed to ensure further sand loss and bag deflation does not occur.”
“We cannot confirm that the reason for the largely disintegrated bag is a boat collision, but we do believe that there is evidence of a boat strike to the reef.
"This preliminary indication will have to be verified, in time, by the Council’s insurer, who has been notified.
"We would add that the remaining structure appears to be sound.”
Experts from the Council’s own appointed divers, Commercial & Specialised Diving, along with representatives from ASR and the bag manufacturer, inspected the reef on Tuesday April the 19th, and again on Wednesday evening at low tide with the Council’s Project Manager.
Tony Williams continued,
“Although the likelihood of injury is very low, until the damage is repaired and the refinement works complete, we will err on the side of caution and advise people not to use the reef.”
Tony Williams continued:
“We plan to have works started as soon as possible and will let people know when we have a definite date for this.”
He added, “I would urge boat users to observe the buoys marking the reef and avoid the structure at all times.”
Heart's been told by the council that the reef will remain closed for the entire summer, and is likely to reopen in the Autumn, in time for the surfing season.