Wave warning after Blackpool sea wall death

Stormy day in Blackpool
Image caption The coastguard said the man was hit by a large wave

The coastguard has issued a warning about the dangers of standing near Blackpool's sea wall during stormy conditions after the death of a man.

The man was standing on the sea wall near Cocker Square on Saturday when a large wave swept him into the water.

He was rescued by a lifeboat crew a short time later, but was pronounced dead at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Paul Parkes, Liverpool Coastguard watch manager, said many people did not realise the power waves had.

Coastguard officers, RNLI lifeboats and an RAF helicopter were all sent to reports of the man in the water at about 1145 BST.

Mr Parkes described the incident as a "tragedy", which he said had happened in poor sea conditions.

"The weather yesterday, there had been a gale blowing and there was a one metre swell in the area," he said.

"When there's been quite a sea running like this and the waves are really strong you get undertow and the waves will just pull you off a wall.

"In fact, when a wave hits you it weighs about the same as a double decker bus - there's an awful lot of power in a wave.

"I don't know whether people appreciate that but you shouldn't be anywhere near when waves are breaking over the sea wall because they'll just sweep you off your feet.

"The outcome is always the same - it's dreadful."

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