Seafront closed off as waves crash in
By The Bristol Post | Monday, June 11, 2012, 05:00
PARTS of Clevedon seafront were shut off after 40ft waves battered the coastline in Friday's storms.
Above and below, waves crash up against the sea wall in Clevedon
North Somerset Council closed off The Beach in the morning after large waves crashed over the prom and went onto the road.
Coastguards from the town's seafront station were also on standby as a precaution, advising people who had come to have a look at the giant waves not to walk along the promenade.
Clevedon Coastguard deputy station officer John Buck said: "We were called to be on standby to advise people to stand back from the water.
"The waves breaking over the seafront were around 40ft high.
"The fact that there are spring tides is made worse by the fact that the winds were also whipping them up."
Clevedon pier was also closed for the day due to the stormy weather, although the Toll House Gallery remained open.
Hoardings put up around the derelict Royal Pier Hotel – soon to be developed into luxury apartments – were blown down as winds of 50mph battered the seaside resort.
Roads around Clevedon were left strewn with debris and branches from trees. In Highdale Road a tree came down in the winds, crashing through the front wall of a house.
Meanwhile, a woman had a lucky escape after a huge tree crashed into her car on a main road. The middle-aged driver, who has not been named, was travelling along the A370 near Brockley Combe when the large trunk fell in 60mph winds.
Remarkably, she clambered out of her crushed VW uninjured after the incident at around 8.30am on Friday.
The outbound lane of Hotwells Road in Bristol was closed around lunchtime because a tree had come down in high winds.
Two lifeboats had to come to the rescue of a windsurfer in difficulties in the Bristol Channel. Crews from Weston-super-Mare and Swansea raced to the scene off Brean Down and rescued the man, who had lost control of his board in strong winds and heavy seas.
The man was picked up cold and tired but otherwise not injured and taken ashore at Uphill boatyard.
Bristol's popular replica medieval ship The Matthew had a lucky escape off the coast in Kent after being blasted free of her moorings in the strong winds.
The ship had been in London where she and her crew were moored up to watch the jubilee pageant last weekend.
On Friday she moored at Sandwich in Kent, the strong winds blew her off her moorings and she ended up stranded on a mud bank on the other side of the river.
Skipper Rob Salvidge said the crew were on board at the time and had been stranded for eight hours on the mud bank, waiting for the tide to come in so they could return to the quayside.
"No damage has been done luckily," he told the Post.
"It could have been a lot worse, but we had a nice muddy riverbank to sit on.
"Where we might have ended up is anyone's guess – but because the wind was so strong it just blew us straight across the river.
"One historic boat which was here a couple of years ago was blown downstream and did get damaged.
"We're all OK now, it wasn't a disaster. But had there been a tree trunk sticking out of the bank it could have been a different story – we have been lucky."