Peaceful Marsden Bay '˜is being ruined' by noisy jet skiers

A nature lover fears inconsiderate jet skiers are disturbing birds at a South Tyneside beach.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 19th March 2016, 9:23 am
Updated Saturday, 19th March 2016, 9:31 am
Marsden Bay, South Shields.
Marsden Bay, South Shields.

Keith Peacock says his Sunday morning walk was ruined by a trio of skiers circling the waters in Marsden Bay, South Shields.

The 51-year-old said the noise could be heard echoing throughout the bay, which is surrounded by cliffs that are home to thousands of kittiwakes and other birds.

Mr Peacock said: “I was with my wife and the tide was right out. We’d walked along Camel’s Island when the three jet skiers turned up.

“They were circling round and round the bay, and the noise was ridiculous. A peaceful Sunday morning walk had turned into a right din.

“With the beach being surrounded by the cliffs, the noise was amplified even louder. It was all you could hear, the revving of their engines.

“There’s hundreds of birds which nest here. It’s one of the main sites in the country and it can’t be good for them listening to that.

“I think it’s very inconsiderate to be ruining the peace and quiet like this, its spoiling it for everyone else who just wants a quiet walk.”

Mr Peacock says he is also worried about the safety of the jetskiers – fearing they may not spot underwater rocks.

He said: “You often see jetskiers out in the water off Shields Beach, which is fair enough, there’s a fairground there, it’s a lot nosier and there’s a lot more open space for them to be riding about in.

“But in Marsden Bay, especially when the ride comes in a bit, there are a lot of rocks and stones about.

“It wouldn’t take much to go over one and not realise, especially the way they’re speeding about, as they’ll be rather hard to see.”

Mr Peacock says he’s thinking about taking the matter to the next Community Area Forum and raising his concerns with councillors.

National Trust bosses say that while the noise probably wouldn’t disturb the kittiwakes once they were on the cliffs, the jetskiers may well be causing damage to the birds who raft on the water as they pair up for breeding season.

Mick Simpson, the trust’s area ranger, said: “When they raft on the water, they’re pairing back up with their partners.

“They do this from January until about this time of the year for the breeding season.

“So if there’s jet skis zipping through the water it could well disturb the birds, or even injure them.

“Once they’re on the cliffs they’re probably not going to be that affected by the noise.

“However, Marsden Bay is very peaceful and popular, so I can understand why people will be annoyed with the noise.”