Published On: Sun, Aug 25th, 2019

Clacton beach warning as Essex town sees people ‘coughing and struggling to breathe’ | UK | News

Police, the ambulance service and the fire service were called to Fourth Avenue in Frinton, off the Esplanade, shortly after 2pm on Sunday. They had received calls from beachgoers in distress, with Tendring district council later tweeting that Clacton, five miles down the coast, had also been affected. Coastal patrol told people in both locations to get out of the water.

A spokeswoman for East of England ambulance service said it had received “reports of a large number of people suffering from coughing on the seafront in Frinton and Clacton”.

She said: “The cause for this is currently unknown and we and our partner agencies are working to try and establish the cause as quickly as possible.

“While we are doing this, we are advising people to not go into the sea.”

The spokeswoman added people’s symptoms had improved after coming out of the water.

There has been speculation online that the cause of the coughing was due to a fuel spill.

But this has not been confirmed by police or the ambulance service.

People who were affected were also advised to wash after they got out of the sea.

They were also told to change clothing and drink fresh water, or call NHS 111 if their symptoms stayed.

Miriam Lansdell, 45, from Derbyshire, was at the beach in Frinton with her 10-year-old twin daughters, her parents and her husband, when she noticed her children was gasping for breath.

She told Clacton Gazette: “My daughter started coughing. She said ‘I don’t feel good. It hurts to breathe in’. My other daughter was gasping and couldn’t form words because she couldn’t breathe well enough.

“My dad said he had been asked to get out of the water by a man on a boat. He asked why and the man said there had been a fuel spill. He said if anyone is having breathing difficulties they should probably call an ambulance.

“It’s not what you expect when you go for a day out to the beach.”

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