A FISHERMAN has said the deadly but beautiful beach at Loe Bar near Porthleven should have ‘skull and crossbones’ signs after a body was found nearby this morning.
It is suspected the remains discovered today are that of a missing holidaymaker, who was swept out to sea from the beauty spot after celebrating New Year’s Eve.
The body has not yet been formally identified.
However, fisherman John Coupland said it was well-known locally that the large waves, steeply sloping beach and undercurrent make Loe Bar a killer.
“They say Loe Bar takes a soul every seven years,” he said.
“As a local fisherman I have seen how deadly this beach is. It is notorious for its massive unexpected shore dumps, and the pea gravel underfoot just caves in and sucks you under.
“Even in calm weather I have seen waves appear from nowhere and you can hear the suck of the ocean as it churns the gravel under the surface, there is no escape, not even for the strongest swimmer.
Although there is already a sign telling people not to swim, Mr Coupland said it should be made much clearer for visitors and tourists, given the latest tragedy.
“This beach should have skull and crossbones signs along it's full length,” he said.
“As locals we know the danger, but visitors have no idea.
“It may not look good for tourism, but for heavens sake we need those signs.
“Loe Bar is a killer beach.”
The beach, which blocks Loe Pool from the sea, is part of Porthleven Sands.
As there is no road access to the beach, it makes the area a rugged and beautiful place that is popular with walkers and cyclists.
The coastguard reported on Wednesday that a group of friends had gone to Loe Bar at around 1am on New Year’s Day morning.
He said: “The group went for a paddle in the rough seas and, when some of them were up to their knees, a large wave swept the person off his feet.”
He said the friends called 99 but despite a massive search in atrocious conditions by coastguards, rescue teams, The Lizard and Penlee lifeboats and a Navy helicopter from RNAS Culdrose, the missing man could not be found.
The search resumed at first light but the sea remained very rough.
It was reported this morning that a member of the public spotted a body in the water near Porthleven beach, just along the coast from Loe Bar.
As fresh gales are expected to sweep across the south and west of Britain tomorrow, the police and coastguard have issued a joint appeal urging people not to enter the sea at any time.
A police spokesperson said: “There are people who enjoy swimming in all weathers as well as those who may underestimate the danger a rough sea can pose.
“During the current bad weather, we would like to appeal to people not to put themselves, and emergency personnel who might have to turn out to rescue them, in unnecessary danger.”
During the day on New Year’s Eve, a woman also died after she was swept out to sea from the north Devon coast.