Members of the public have called for ‘immediate action’ after a 79-year-old man was LOST IN THE SEA off of Southend Pier this morning.
According to witnesses at the scene, frantic walkers were unable to contact the emergency services because an information point had incorrect instructions on it.
Norris Wallace was walking his dog at the time of the incident earlier this morning, and he slammed the council about the sign.
He said: ‘An elderly gentleman was admiring a seagull that had landed on one of the pier’s pillars, and all of a sudden he slipped and fell in – he was washed away by the tide within seconds.’
‘It says that people need to press the red button to contact the emergency services, but there is no red button!’
‘There is a green button that says ’emergency,’ but as far as I am concerned the colour green is only for times when everything is OK.’
‘I have walked past that sign many times and I knew that it was only a matter of time before someone is killed because of it. Southend Borough Council has blood on their hands!’
‘The sooner they fix the train line the better. The most vulnerable members of society should be able to enjoy the Thames Estuary from a safety of an enclosed carriage.’
A spokesperson for Southend Borough Council confirmed that the sign was ‘in need of some adjustments to ensure compliance with clarification guidelines.’
He said: ‘A six-month feasibility study is underway to ensure that the sign is as clear as possible in the future, and members of the public are now invited to have their say.’
‘A Civic Centre information evening about the consultation process for the sign’s potential alteration will be announced shortly, and the costs of repainting or replacing the button will be announced.’
In a late development, it has emerged that a gentleman matching the description of the man in the sea was picked up by an RNLI lifeboat just FIFTY METRES from the explosive wreck of the SS Montgomery.
A crew member said: ‘Luckily, the gentleman was unharmed and just a bit cold after being in the sea for a few minutes.’