A furious dog owner says she has been lumbered with a huge vets bill to save her pet after going swimming in sewage-filled sea.
Rachel Hoath said her beloved 15-year-old Jack Russell mix got “very sick” after she went to cool off in the sea in Bexhill, East Sussex.
The shop keeper claimed she had to pay a £350 vet bill to keep the dog alive, SussexLive report.
It follows a number of sewage spills in the area, including from a Southern Water treatment plant that closed a five-mile stretch of coastline.
Sussex MPs have now written to Southern Water and Environment Agency calling on ‘respect’ and ‘protection’ for the environment.
The animal lover says her pet couldn’t stop vomiting after their regular walk turned into a nightmare.
She said: “My dog got very ill and it cost me £350. She swallowed quite a lot of seawater and then she was being sick. She’s getting better and she’s on antibiotics, but she had to have blood tests.”
Mrs Hoath, who owns a craft shop selling glass products at the De La Warr Pavillion on the Bexhill seafront and said her husband had been in the sea with their dog.
Luckily, he had not swallowed any water himself and did not get ill.
“It’s disgusting, absolutely awful,” she said. “One of the lifeguards went in on Monday and he got very ill.
“I don’t understand how it can happen really. I mean, in the middle of August for people coming here on holiday to not be able to go in the sea, people will be staying away from the beach. It’s dreadful and it’s revolting.”
The 52-year-old added that the beach closure and recent discharges have affected her business because people have stayed away or chosen other places to visit. She also said business has been affected by recent rail strikes that have meant “August is not going that well”.
The frustration and disgust felt by Rachel was common along the seafront and the friend of a beach hut owner Helga Akitt, 53 described the situation as “concerning”. She said: “It’s quite alarming that that still happens in this day and age.
“It’s concerning and I guess it will continue to happen. Obviously you wouldn’t want to go in the water. And it’s quite alarming to see people in it.”
Janet Charlton, 79 said the spills are “disgusting” and “worrying” while 20-year-old Hannah Trimmer said she would think twice before swimming. Some people – including one who wanted to remain anonymous – shared a different view.
They said: “It’s only been for a few days. It had to happen because otherwise it would come up to the toilets. I would prefer it out at sea somewhere.”
In relation to the “significant issues” that led to the closure of East Sussex beaches Southern Water said: “We’re very sorry to say that a significant issue with electrical power at one of our wastewater pumping stations has caused a release into the sea at Bexhill.”
Rother District Council responded and advised people not to enter the water between Galley Hill and Normans Bay.
The Southern Water statement added: “We are liaising closely with the Environment Agency and Rother District Council and providing information to assess the potential impact of this event.”
Bexhill’s beach has now re-opened after it was closed from Wednesday night.