SHIPS have been warned to slow down following complaints they were disrupting a busy beach.

The Port of London Authority (PLA) issued the warning on July 3.

Residents had complained to the Coastguard over how fast the big ships were travelling and the huge waves they created on Concord Beach, Canvey.

Colin Letchford, chair of Friends of Concord Beach said: “We noticed some of the ships appeared to be going faster and generating a bigger wash. This is only a problem at high tide when children are on the beach and pathways.

“We did have three of four that came up on the pathway and a dog got sucked back into the sea that I pulled out.”

Ships passing the foreshore and River wall on Canvey between the Chapman Anchorages and Thorney Creek were reminded to watch their speed.

PLA issued all mariners a warning saying “vessel Masters are required to navigate at a speed and in manner such that any wash created by the vessel must not compromise the safety of others using the Thames and the foreshore.”

Mick Allwood from Canvey Coastguard said: “Wash has always been a problem and always will be. In other areas it’s worse and here it’s been something we have to consider. The design of ships changes and over the last ten years they have got bigger and faster and deeper. They create a draw-op which is a phenomenon that happens when a ship’s bottom is very close to the ground and draws water away from the shore and then pushes it back up very fast. It creates a big wash.

“There is a speed limit at Thames Gateway, well an ease down through there. I think due to their busy schedules, they get to Thames gateway, put the brakes on and then speed away.”