Campaigners calling for action, to make our coastal waters and rivers cleaner, gathered at Yaverland beach on Saturday and even braved a dip in the water.

Around 50 people met to unfurl banners and take a dip in the icy English Channel, as part of the 'Sea Lovers Say No to Sewage' campaign.

Olympic gold medal winning sailor and broadcaster Shirley Roberston, tweeted: "It's hard to know how to move this forward but apathy is never the answer.

"The Isle of Wight deserves better, Southern Water.

"Well done everyone who showed their support on Yaverland beach."

Earlier this month, the Environment Bill passed through Parliament, bringing with it new requirements to reduce sewage discharges into our seas.

An amendment calling for water providers to work to ban it altogether was defeated, however.

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MPs, including the Isle of Wight's Bob Seely, argued bill payers would end up paying for expensive solutions and argue a total ban was unachievable given the state of the current sewage network.

The Environment Bill requires an action plan to be presented to Parliament next year.

Utility firms like Southern Water, which was recently fined £90million (for making illegal sewage discharges between 2010-2015) and criticised for its performance, will have to prove they are taking action to reduce the number of emergency discharges (which they say includes 95 per cent rainwater and nothing untreated).

Isle of Wight County Press: The Isle of Wight protest called for action over sewage in our seas.

On Thursday, it was revealed two Isle of Wight beaches were worst in the UK for sewage discharges, between October 2020 and September 2021.

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Pressure group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) released a report showing there were 321 discharges at Gurnard in that time frame - more than anywhere else in the UK.

Cowes closely followed Gurnard, with 318 discharges.

Saturday's 'Sea Lovers Say No To Sewage' campaign braved Storm Arwen to take the plunge.