Southend Pier closed after being struck by fishing boat

The trawler in Southend Pier The boat hit the western side of the pier near to the shore

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Southend Pier will remain closed over the weekend after it was struck by a fishing boat.

A local fishing trawler hit a section of the Essex attraction at 07:00 GMT.

No-one was injured in the collision with the western side of pier, between shelters A and B, about a quarter-of-a-mile from shore.

Southend Borough Council said early investigations showed two vertical support pilings, two horizontal beams and cross bracings were damaged.

A lamp column was also damaged.

Conservative councillor Derek Jarvis said the fishing boat had moved away under its own power to nearby Leigh-on-Sea.

"It appears the fishing boat sailed straight into the side of the pier," he said.

"Our contractors only finished repairing the damage from the last pier strike [in September] two days ago and now this happens. It's almost unbelievable."

Seventeenth strike

Structural engineers will continue to assess the damage over the weekend.

Mr Jarvis, member for culture and tourism, said a decision would be made on when the attraction would reopen to the public, once it was known what repairs were needed.

"At this stage it looks extremely unlikely the pier will re-open to the public before the beginning of the week at the very earliest," he said.

It is the 17th time the attraction, one of the longest pleasure piers in the world, has been struck by a ship.

Last September, the pier had to close for three weeks when the end of the 1.3 mile (2.16km) structure was hit by a barge.

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