Surfers Against Sewage

Sewage Free Seas

What do sick water users say…

Unwittingly exposing yourself to sewage polluted waters can pose a serious risk to your health. Here are a few recent case studies from across England, featuring young and old, male and female, surfers, SUPers, dingy sailors and kite surfers all demonstrating the need for Sewage Free Seas.

Candice O'Donnell at a river sewer overflow

Leah, aged 13, was surfing at Perranporth in August 2015, when unknown to her or her parents, the local South West Water sewer overflow discharged raw human sewage. Leah’s mother says: “Leah’s never been this ill before. I’m furious water companies continue to regularly pollute our beautiful beaches. We want Sewage Free Seas now!”

Warning not to enter the sea due to sewage pollution

Dr Georgina Sowman is a surfer, SUPer and GP from Northumberland. Recently she was stand up paddle boarding in the sea without knowing her local sewer overflow had recently discharged. She suffered a severe illness with fevers and rigours, vomiting and sinus infection. Dr Sowman says: “It’s important to provide sewage free seas for local communities to enjoy”.

“She suffered a severe illness with fevers and rigours, vomiting and sinus infection.”

Christine and Jo were both taken down with sore throats and chest infections after kite surfing at Lancing Beach, without knowing one of the many local sewer overflows had recently discharged. Christine says: “I just want clean and safe water to enjoy. Sewage Free Seas please!”

Dr Neil Wright and his daughter suffered a very unpleasant case of viral gastroenteritis from a surfing trip to Cornwall in March 2015. Dr Wright says: “As a GP in the midlands I had not anticipated the public health dangers of surfing after a rainfall event. Our wetsuits kept us warm but they could not protect us against a toxic soup of bacteria and viruses.

“Two days of vomiting and diarrhea were the price for surfing after a few days of heavy rain.”

A GP friend from Cornwall confirmed to Dr Wright that his experience is sadly not uncommon. Apparently he never goes surfing after it’s been raining for fear of what lurks beneath the waves. The nation’s media documented the Prime Minister and his wife were also using the sea at Polzeath shortly after a raw sewage discharge. They didn’t contact SAS reporting vomiting, diarrhea and a fever.

“Nobody should be subjected to the ordeal and infection I was.”

Duncan launched his sailing dingy from Brixham yacht club during early August 2015. Unfortunately, a graze on his leg became infected leading to serious illnesses. He was initially diagnosed with meningitis and treated accordingly. Clinical tests later confirmed a severe leg infection was the cause of these serious symptoms. Duncan was hospitalized and received aggressive treatment, followed by extensive and lengthy treatment at home. Thankfully Duncan has since made a full recovery.

I am calling for an end to sewage pollution at our beaches:

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