Pollution alert after reports of dead marine life

The beach at Minnis Bay
Residents are being told to avoid the water [Getty Images]

Warnings are in place at a Kent beach due to a "possible pollution incident" and reports of dead marine life.

Dog walkers are being told to keep their animals away from Minnis Bay, Birchington-on-Sea, and the public are urged not to enter the water.

The vice chair of Westgate-on-Sea Town Council, John Worrow, advised residents to stay away until they heard more information from Thanet District Council.

The Environment Agency (EA) said it is gathering samples for testing, after a member of the public reported dead invertebrates being washed ashore.

A statement from the EA said: "We were notified by a member of the public about thousands of dead and dying ragworms and lugworms on the beach.

"Our environment officers are investigating and gathering samples for analysis to determine the cause of death.

'Avoid the beach'

A statement from Thanet said: "We have been made aware of a possible pollution incident at Minnis Bay, Birchington-on-Sea, following reports of dead marine life on the coastline."

Mr Worrow, who also sits on the district council, said: "For the time being, please if you want to take your dog for a walk go to the park.

"Try to avoid the beach until you hear more from the district council."

The statement from Thanet said signs had been put in place between Minnis Bay and West Bay in Westgate-on-Sea.

The signs advised members of the public to "stay above the high water mark and to refrain from entering the water".

The district council said it was actively monitoring the coastline "to assess the extent of the incident".

More information was expected on Tuesday after the latest inspections, the council added.

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