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Cause of Cornwall's 'orange sea' is confirmed

Cause of Cornwall's 'orange sea' is confirmed

Published by Emma Carton at 7:43am 30th October 2019. (Updated at 7:45am 30th October 2019)

Cornwall's 'orange sea' is being blamed on algae.

Officials say that is what turned parts of St Austell bay orange last week.

Some swimmers complained of a rash after going for a dip.

But the Environment Agency insists it does not do long term damage - and is found the world over.

Orange water
The Environment Agency has confirmed algae was to blame for Cornwall's sea turning orange. Photo: Debby Beale Lote

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
Officials are still urging bathers to stay out of the water in the St Austell Bay area. Photo: Debby Beale Lote

The Environment Agency took samples from beaches. It says that, as expected, it was caused by an algae bloom.

However, it warned swimmers to steer clear,.

"We are working closely with Cornwall Port Health Authority and Cefas to respond to reports of orange-tinged water near some beaches in Cornwall. 

"The initial test results confirm a non-toxic form of marine algae is causing the water discolouration.

"We continue to advise bathers, children and pets to avoid contact with the discoloured water."

Environment Agency

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