UK’s Boscombe Artificial Reef Fails

Britain artificial reef

As reported by The UK Daily Mail Reporter.

Britain’s artificial surf reef has sunk to new depths after it was declared unsafe and closed to the public.

The controversial £3.2million reef, the first of its kind in Europe, has been plagued by controversy since it opened off Bournemouth beach in Dorset, in 2009.

The underwater structure that was meant to have transformed the resort into a surfers’ paradise has hardly been used because it produces the wrong sort of wave.

Now it has been declared a no-go zone after a routine inspection found ‘substantial changes’ to the reef’s shape has started to produce dangerous under-currents.

It is thought the concern is that surfers could risk drowning by being sucked down into gaps that have appeared in the structure as a result of the changes.

The local council is now ‘erring on the side of caution’ and has closed the reef, which is 750ft out to sea off the Boscombe area of the resort.

It consists of 55 giant submerged sand-filled bags, which are believed to have been displaced and require repositioning.

A Bournemouth council spokesman said: ‘A routine inspection carried out on March 23 shows that substantial changes have altered the profile of the reef structure.

‘Preliminary inspections suggested that this may alter current flows over the reef.’  Tony Williams, the council’s executive director, said: ‘We are aware that significant changes have altered the structure of the reef.

‘It is really a health and safety issue. Until we know further information we are erring on the side of caution and advising people not to use the reef.

‘Given that surfing is an extreme sport and always includes an element of risk, health and safety surrounding the surf reef project has been paramount from the start.’  Some surfers say the reef has become a laughing stock and have dubbed it the ‘beached whale’ especially after recent low-tides left it and high and dry out of the water.

Local surfer Chris Skone-Roberts, 41, claims he and colleague had snorkelled on the reef and found gaps of up to two feet wide between the sand-bags.

Check out the whole article at The UK Daily Mail Reporter.