More danger signs and beach bins? Sorry, they might cost us a Blue Flag

LUCKY ESCAPE Dionne Wheeler with Luna, who swallowed a large fishing hook. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122383-5690)
LUCKY ESCAPE Dionne Wheeler with Luna, who swallowed a large fishing hook. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122383-5690)

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OFFICIALS say they are powerless to put up more bins and signs to stop litter louts at a protected beach.

A call has been made for more facilities at Hayling beach after a puppy swallowed a fish hook while her owner took her out for a walk along the shore.

HOOK The fish hook that was inside the dog

HOOK The fish hook that was inside the dog

But leaders at Havant Borough Council, which is responsible for the beach, say there are restrictions in place because it is a recognised beauty spot.

Pet owner Dionne Wheeler called for action after her eight-month-old puppy swallowed the hook.

Dionne, 41, of Southwood Road, Hayling Island, was walking with her Northern Inuit Luna on Hayling seafront near Sandy Point when the pup ran off.

Luna returned moments later with a large amount of fishing wire hanging from her mouth.

Dionne rushed her to the vets and an X-ray revealed the fishing hook inside her.

Having undergone surgery at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester, Luna is now recovering well – but Dionne believes she was lucky.

She said: ‘Luna’s on lots of medication and she’s doing well, but things could have been so different.

‘It was potentially life threatening, it could’ve punctured her stomach and an artery or anything. And if I didn’t have insurance then the operation would have cost thousands and I might not have been able to afford it.

‘A discarded hook like that is dangerous for any animal and for children too. People need to be aware how irresponsible it is to throw things like that away.’

Dionne contacted local fishing organisations but she says they denied there was a problem with hooks being discarded on the beach.

She also contacted the council, asking for more bins and signs to be put up along the seafront in a bid to encourage beach users to clear up after themselves.’

Peter Vince, operational services manager at the council, said: ‘Fishermen are expected to take responsibility upon themselves to dispose of their rubbish and there are already bins and signs placed at the usual busy areas of the beach.

‘Owing to the Blug Flag status the beach holds and areas of Sites of Scientific Interest the council is restricted to the number of signs and bins it can install.

‘During the summer months, with additonal visitors expected to use the beach, additional litter pickers supplement the usual daily beach patrols to ensure the beach is kept tidy, not only on the shoreline collecting debris washed up by the tide, but also up and down the beach areas.’