CHILDREN are putting their lives at risk playing a game of dare with the high tide on Dovercourt promenade prompting urgent calls for safety signs.

Tendring Councillor John Brown and resident Paul Saunders have asked Tendring Council to look at increasing awareness of the dangers at high tide on the seafront.

Mr Saunders, of Allfields, raised concerns after witnessing children as young as five playing near the edge of the promenade.

He said: “I was shocked to see a couple of very small girls, possibly five or six years old, with no adult in sight, playing a game of dare with the sea water as it was rising and retreating from the slipway down to the beach.

“This frightened me a bit and I reported it to a young chap sitting in the guard hut which is about a kilometre away.”

Mr Saunders witnessed further incidents. He added: “The game of dare by children is happening in many places all along the front.

“My point at the end of the day is there should be some warning signage especially near Cliff Park Gardens.

“The playground is directly next to the steps that lead to this particular danger area and some simple signage stating ‘caution at high tide’ perhaps at the top of the steps and on the railing next to the walk down slipway.

“Surely we are not looking at a large expense for something so simple and easy to do.”

Harwich councillor Mr Brown echoed the concerns.

He said: “The amount of times I’ve been down the beach and there are people letting their kids stand on the wall as the tide comes over.

“Kids have lost their lives down there. Something really needs to be done.

“Tendring Council has taken no responsibility for it, if there is a disaster it will through neglect.”

A spokesman for Tendring Council said it was worrying to hear of young people potentially risking their lives along the seafront, in any part of the district.

He added: “More signage is rarely the right approach to take in these circumstances, and certainly not in isolation. Experience tells us that not only is it very hard to get the messaging right and the signs in the right places, but often warning signs will simply be ignored.

“It is important we do not make a knee-jerk response, and that any changes made to our seafronts are well thought out.

“That is why we have been carrying out a lot of work with the newly formed Tendring Water Safety Partnership, made up of several agencies involved in such issues including the RNLI, to look at what can be done to address these concerns.

“Work includes rolling out water safety messaging to schools through ‘train the trainer’ sessions, development of a water safety film, and being successful in getting the Swim Safe initiative from Swim England and the RNLI to be delivered to 2,000 young people in Dovercourt, Walton and Clacton this summer.

“Part of the forum’s work has also been to conduct a signage review along Clacton seafront, and this could be carried out in other parts of the district too.”