An angling club chief in South Tyneside says fishermen who took to a pier which was being battered by strong seas are “lucky” to have escaped unscathed.
The Gazette yesterday showed an image of two men who had fished on South Shields Pier, while waves were crashing over either side of it on Monday.
The anglers pictured were taking a great risk being where they wereAndrew Nickerson
Their actions were criticised by rescue groups, who said they had put themselves, and others who may have had to step in to save them, in danger.
The anglers in question are not members of South Shields & District Sea Angling Club, and committee member Andrew Nickerson has insisted no one from the club would consider taking to the pier in such conditions.
Instead, they would take advantage of more safe areas along the coastline if they wanted to fish.
Mr Nickerson said: “I would like to state that as a Shields club member, we take safety as priority, with none of our members being allowed to fish the pier when the pier gates are closed.
“The anglers pictured were taking a great risk being where they were. I have seen many an angler have their rod or fishing box or bag washed off the pier in those conditions.
“They are lucky to have not lost more than that.
“The anglers pictured are not members of the club, which in respect is a good thing, as we are a good club and respect the conditions we fish in.
“There is a lot of coastline and river marks to fish when such conditions make the pier unsafe.
“Taking such risks for a few fish or that one big fish just is not worth doing when the angler’s life can be put at risk.”