Duchy of Cornwall was warned of Crantock beach death risk

Image source, BBC/Din family
Image caption,
Oneil Din died at Crantock beach on the north Cornwall coast

The Duchy of Cornwall was warned of the risk of a "potentially fatal situation" at a beach it owns, ahead of a man's death there last week.

Oneil Din, 27, from Coventry, got caught in a rip current and died at Crantock beach, Cornwall on 15 August.

Crantock Parish Council told the duchy in April it was "extremely concerned about the safety risks to the public".

The duchy said new warning signs were put up in 2016 and it planned to "see what more can possibly be done".

The duchy was involved in a series of meetings and concluded there was no "simple solution" as the area had protected status, and that re-engineering the course of a river was a complicated and long process with no guarantees of success.

The council said the beach had become more dangerous since a breakwater was damaged by storms in 2015, causing the River Gannel to change course.

Earlier this month 11 bodyboarders had to be rescued at the same beach.

The council said: "Since the river diverted, very significant movements of sand have occurred that have made bathing conditions extremely dangerous at certain states of tide and sea condition".

The council met the duchy, the National Trust and the Marine Management Organisation on 27 January to discuss the issue but no repairs were authorised.

It also wrote a letter to the duchy in April saying it remained "extremely concerned about the safety risks to the public at large on a very busy beach, especially in the summer, and the possibility of an unfortunate, and potentially fatal, situation occurring".

Image caption,
Crantock is known for its strong currents due to a river which runs across the beach

RNLI lifeguard supervisor John Steadman said after the recent death: "Crantock beach has some unpredictable currents at the moment due to the topography of the beach constantly changing."

The duchy, which has land in 23 counties and funds the activities of the Prince of Wales, expressed its condolences and said in a statement: "In 2016 new signs were installed to alert people to the danger of strong currents and other risks.

"We plan to meet again with the parish council, National Trust and other stakeholders to see what more can possibly be done."

Image source, Facebook
Image caption,
Oneil Din died after getting caught in a rip current at Crantock beach

The National Trust, which has responsibility for the beach above the high water mark, said it had categorised Crantock as a "higher risk" beach, "on account of the river running across the beach and the resulting rip current".

At high tide the sea covers Crantock beach, leaving sand dunes and a car park at the top of the beach.

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