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Washed off the pier

The storm surge inundates the Inner Farne jetty and walkways, usually several metres above the high tide mark. Picture by Will Scott @dub_birder

The storm surge inundates the Inner Farne jetty and walkways, usually several metres above the high tide mark. Picture by Will Scott @dub_birder

The harbour at Seahouses was damaged during last week’s surge and there was a narrow escape for one couple caught out by the waves.

Boat trip operator Andrew Douglas said: “With a look around the harbour, I noticed that the railings were squashed flat to the ground around the freezer area and a concrete wall was down in the same place.

“Along the pier, signs were missing, lumps of concrete from the harbour wall were scattered along the pier and other bits and pieces around the harbour.”

However, he was alarmed to see people walking along the pier.

“A couple were walking along the pier when a wave came over and knocked them off their feet,” said Andrew. “The lady got washed into the harbour and the man clung onto the edge.

“If it was not for a couple that are staying at my house, they could have been gone and no one would have noticed. Luckily she grabbed the pier ladders and climbed back up and both were shook up but okay. Going for a stroll along the pier to me is just madness.”

But the seals on the Farne Islands were not as lucky.

“This was a storm of epic proportions,” said head ranger David Steel. “The high tide at 4pm brought a storm surge which pushed the sea level two metres above the expected high-tide line.

“There was no hiding for our grey seal pups. The loss of the life will be high, but it could have been worse, a lot worse. The pupping season is almost over and if this had happened just four weeks earlier, we would have had a real nightmare on our hands.”

 

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