EYEMOUTH resident Brian Judd has taken matters into his own hands after hesitation from the council by spearheading the purchase of a lifebelt ring for the town.
A number of local businesses have supported the move, which comes two months after teenager Katie MacLean was severely injured after being washed off the sea wall steps. No lifebelts were available for those who rescued the 14-year-old girl.
Frustrated that Scottish Borders Council did not take action following the accident, Mr Judd asked the local authority for answers but was not satisfied with the response. So he decided to do something about it himself and rallied others in the town to donate money to buy a lifebelt.
By the end of last week, the R&G Foreman & Sons butchers; The Tavern and Mackays pulled enough money together to purchase the lifesaving equipment and started a fund with a view to buying others in the future.
“All we did was go onto the internet, Google lifebelt and buy one,” explained Mr Judd. “It took five minutes and cost £70, but having it on the seafront could be priceless.
“Eyemouth is in the middle of its busiest spell at the moment with the English and Scottish schools on their holidays, and for there to be no lifebelt there is ridiculous.
“The plan is to have the ring opposite The Tavern but we want to be able to buy some more as well.
“We have already got one and we have got promises and support from businesses to get more. We are hoping that the council will chip in and help us because I think it is really the council’s responsibility to ensure beach safety.”
But even with the new lifebelt in place, and hopefully others to follow soon, Mr Judd still has a number of concerns about safety at the beach.
He added: “There are no railings on any of the steps leading down from the wall to the beach so there’s nothing to grab onto should you get into any difficulties at high tide and the steps aren’t regularly powerwashed, meaning they can get incredibly slippy.”