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Swimmers suffer 'rashes' after sea turns orange

Swimmers suffer 'rashes' after sea turns orange

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:25pm 24th October 2019. (Updated at 8:54am 26th October 2019)

People have reportedly come out in rashes after part of the sea turned orange in Cornwall.

The strange coloured water has been reported along the south coast in the St Austell Bay area.

Beach-goers have shared warnings on social media about the sea around Porthpean and Charlestown, fearing it could be contaminated.

Orange water

On person wrote on Facebook: "Please be aware there is a red substance in the water at Porthpean beach! I and others have reported it! Folks are saying it’s at Charlestown too!! 

"Please don't go into the water or let dogs in case it's toxic!!! It looks like a contaminate of some sort."

Another added: "Caution do not go to Porthpean for the time being as there is a contaminant within the water. 

"The council and environment agency are aware but not closed the beach. 

"Some of us have just been for a swim and coming out in rashes."

Orange water

The Environment Agency has confirmed that it is investigating the orange mystery substance, but says it is likely to be an algal bloom.

Samples are going to be taken and analysed after people reported skin irritation.

But bathers, children and pets are all being urged to avoid contact with any discoloured water in the area.

"The Environment Agency was alerted to reports of orange staining at various beaches in St Austell Bay in Cornwall yesterday afternoon (23 October). 

"One bather reported mild skin irritation after coming into contact with the discolouration. 

"The likely cause is an algal bloom, but this cannot be confirmed until a sample is taken and analysed. 

"We are working with Cornwall Port Health Authority and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) to confirm what the orange discolouration is caused by. 

"In the meantime, we advise bathers, children and pets to avoid contact with discoloured water."

Environment Agency

Orange water

Meantime South West Water has confirmed that there is no evidence of a blockage or flooding from its network.

But it says reports of any pollution incidents are taken seriously and will be investigated.

“Our pumping station is operating correctly and there is no evidence of a blockage or flooding from our network.

“We would encourage members of the public who see something they think may be sewage pollution to contact us as soon as possible on 0344 346 2020 so that we can investigate.

The Environment Agency also has an incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60.

“We take reports of pollution incidents seriously and will investigate within two hours to ensure any impact on the environment is minimised.”

South West Water

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