THERE were no reports of Dorset rivers changing direction, fish leaping out of the water or hair standing on end due to static, despite an underwater landslide causing a “mild tsunami” along the South West coast.

The unusual tidal surge struck the Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Hampshire coast on Monday morning, affecting tidal patterns from Newlyn to Portsmouth.

Dr Mark Davidson, an expert in coastal processes at the University of Plymouth, described the surge as a “rare” occurrence.

The man, tasked with assessing the performance of Boscombe surf reef, said the wave was believed to have been caused by a sand or mud slide at sea.

He added: “It was probably not a tidal phenomenon but more likely a tsunami of some kind.”

While fishermen in Cornwall and Devon witnessed the effects of the underwater landslide, there were no reports of unusual tidal patterns in Dorset.

An incredulous Portland coastguard spokesman told the Daily Echo: “It’s the first I’ve heard of this – there were no reports on Monday morning of any unusual events along the coast and absolutely nothing has come in from other stations.”

Speaking from a survey boat for the wind farm project, fisherman Chris Mowlam said: “I haven’t heard anything about a mini tsunami – nothing at all.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We’ve not received any reports of strange activity on Dorset’s rivers.

“From what I’ve heard this was a fairly small scale event which was confined to Devon and Cornwall.”