A BOAT strike may have damaged the Boscombe Surf Reef, Bournemouth council said today.

The reef has been closed since March 31 and contractors ASR have been sending down divers.

Tony Williams, one of the council’s executive directors said in a statement: “We have had several extremely productive meetings with ASR, C&S Diving and the bag manufacturer over the last few days, and spent time reviewing video and photographic evidence.

“This has confirmed that one bag has largely disintegrated, with what appears to be propeller damage to the adjacent bag.

“This needs to be addressed to ensure further sand loss and bag deflation does not occur.” He said: “We cannot confirm that the reason for the largely disintegrated bag is a boat collision, but we do believe that there is evidence of a boat strike to the reef.

“This preliminary indication will have to be verified, in time, by the Council’s insurer, who has been notified.

"We would add that the remaining structure appears to be sound.”