Conditions at Camber Beach recently were very different from the hot sunny days that we have had this summer so far. The wind was gusting at 50mph plus and the sand was whipping into the few people who had braved the weather.
Most people think of a day out at the beach with friends and family as a lovely escape from urban life or the cares of their jobs. The sea looks innocent and sparkling in the sun: but it has many other faces.
Tranquil waters can turn in an instant and changing tides can often catch people out. Waves are an unstoppable force – at least until they break. The ones that dump you will knock you off your feet and pull you out. The RNLI advises beach-goers who are entering the sea to know their limits both physically and in terms of their experience.
The message that everyone should keep foremost in their minds when visiting the beach is to “Respect the Water” and know what the tides are doing during their visit. Inflatables can be easily swept out to sea and carried a long way out very quickly – and it is best to avoid using them at the seaside.
[Editor’s note: Indeed anything, and anyone, can be vulnerable to both the wind and the tides, and kitesurfers and kayakers have featured in rescues off local beaches this year.]
When the lifeguards put up the RED flag they are advising people that it is unsafe to swim and they should avoid going into the sea for their own safety. The RNLI lifeguards are highly-trained and are having to put their skills into practice everyday – particularly when advice is ignored..
Image Credits: k.t.bruce .