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Dover Harbour forced to shut after 'above normal' E.coli levels
16 August 2020, 15:44
Dover Harbour has been forced to shut to swimmers and water-based activities after “above normal” E.coli bacteria was detected.
The Port of Dover issued the warning days after hundreds of swimmers and subathers enjoyed the seaside spot during the heatwave.
The “don’t swim” alert is in force “until further notice” but there are no reports of ill-health, officials said.
However one woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told reporters: "Both my husband and I have had diarrhoea since Wednesday night," she said.
"The friends we were with have also been poorly. None of us thought anything of it until Dover port put out their tweet last night."
Further water cleanliness tests will be conducted on Sunday and Monday with results expected by Tuesday, the harbour said.
The site borders one of the busiest shipping terminals in the world, and has been busy with Border Force and Coastguard vessels in recent weeks shepherding migrant dinghies to shore.
NOTICE: Following routine water sample tests, the decision has been taken to close the Harbour to swimming and similar water activities until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. pic.twitter.com/qMdnO9AW1C— Port of Dover (@Port_of_Dover) August 15, 2020
The Port of Dover added in a statement: “After consultation with both Dover District Council and the Environment Agency the advice was to close our Harbour to swimming and water based activities until the situation is better understood.
“Health and safety of our customers and community is of the utmost importance to us and therefore we have taken these measures as a precaution. There are no reports of ill health.
“We are working with external agencies in order to lift the restriction at the earliest opportunity.Port of Dover would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”