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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
River set for 'five-star' bores
Severn bore
Surfers and boatmen try to ride the Severn Bore
Thrill-seekers are expected to head for the River Severn over the next few days to see spectacular tidal waves.

Some may try to surf the famous Severn bore, a wall of water that roars up-river for 25 miles.

The Environment Agency, which grades the strength of the bores, said it was expecting the maximum five-star waves on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week.

The River Severn has the world's second highest tidal range - up to 50 feet between low and high tides.

It also has one of the world's largest bores, caused because the river rapidly becomes narrower and shallower as the rising tide funnels water up from the Bristol Channel.

I've known people to get out of the water because it sounded so huge.

Colin Wilson, champion surfer
It forms below Awre, 15 miles south of Gloucester, then weaves round a giant horseshoe curve in the river and heads north, suddenly ending past the city at Maisemore Weir.

Colin Wilson, a former distance surfing record holder, has described riding the bore as a unique experience.

He said: "You're surfing in the middle of the English countryside.

"It can be quite daunting listening to it approach.

Dangerous sport

"I've known people to get out of the water because it sounded so huge."

But a group called the Bore Surfers Club warns: "The sport is very dangerous and advice should always be sought before trying it for the first time."

Last month, three fishermen were rescued from a beach on the Severn, just minutes before they would have been swept away by the bore.

They were fishing below a 40-foot cliff that was too steep to climb.

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