Port Beach users concerned by dangerous rocks, debris

Port Beach users concerned by dangerous rocks, debris

BROKEN glass, sharp stones and rubble are dangers for all entering the sea at Port Beach, North Fremantle.

“We actually had to pull a women out of the water because of the rubble last week, as she was disorientated with all the pebbles,” daily beach walker Susan Nicholson, of Palmyra, told the Western Suburbs Weekly.

The dangers were highly apparent last weekend, after which sand had covered some of the hazards along 600m from the North Mole to the Port Polar Bear swimmers’ clubhouse.

“It’s bad, and people have hurt themselves,” Port Polar Bear president Graeme Clifton said.

There are fears for the public and their children who increasingly use the beach from across southern Perth.

“Some people, or little kids catch a wave in, and they do smash their chest into the stones, and I’ve seen plenty of stubbed toes,” Mr Clifton said.

The worst is at Sandtrax Beach, 400m north of the mole.

There swimmers face shingles potentially hiding more of the sharp hazards, before a 1m drop-off, above which glass and shards can litter the beach from the wash zone to the highwater mark.

Beach users say the debris also littered the beach about seven years ago, before it was cleared by Fremantle Council, and Mr Clifton said the council and the Fremantle Port Authority should investigate the latest event to see if they could address the problem.

A Fremantle Council spokesperson said seasonal conditions exposed rocks and other materials close to shore.

Council staff were investigating the latest incident and had discussed it with Fremantle Ports, but beach visitors should always observe safety signs.

They said the rocks and other material recurred depending on seasonal sand movements, and usually when there was less sand than normal at the end of winter to cover the rocks on the seabed.

“Geotechnical engineers in the past on this issue concluded that most of the rocky material was tamala limestone which occurs naturally in this area, and was likely to have derived, in part, from works undertaken from the 1890s and into the earlier part of the 1900s to create and develop the Inner Harbour,” the spokeswoman said.

She said there was evidence of unauthorised dumping of building materials in the 1900s, but the rocks were not related to harbour deepening and infill to extend the seawall at adjacent Rous Head in 2010.