“Inevitably a risk” with crowds

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Camber Beach Cookout scheduled for this Sunday - if you have a ticket !

On Sunday, August 9, high tide at Camber will be at 3:26 in the afternoon, with low tide at 9:30pm, an hour after sunset, with high tide returning at 3:45am – and the sun rising at 5:30am on Monday morning. An event (as shown above) has been promised, but allegedly cancelled. And how much of Camber Sands may look like the picture below on Monday?

Ready for collection – but much will there be Monday morning?

And that may be the least of the problems. This Thursday, August 6, the Local Government Association (representing all our councils) warned that “when large numbers of people head to the coast and tourist spots there is inevitably a risk of overcrowding and an increase in the rate at which Covid 19 could be transmitted” which reflects existing local concerns about the risks posed by visitors.

This event in Camber was made ticket only said the organisers earlier in the week after concerns were expressed by Sussex Police and Rother District Council but, even so, it is not clear how many tickets were, or would be, sold, but it is clear that food, music and (probably) alcohol would be involved.

However on Thursday morning Camber residents were told by a Rother District Council officer that the event had been cancelled by the police – and the police would be on site to prevent anyone setting up, or attending, the publicised event. But individuals and local organisations have expressed concern – and continue to do so – and it is reported that BBC South East will be visiting Camber on Friday.

The economy-sized Sussex Police office at Camber Sands

The police have a presence (shown above) on the beach – along with lifeguards and beach patrols (for some of the beach) – but the police presence is usually involved with domestic and drinking incidents, and their effectiveness can be reduced if traffic brings Camber to a  halt. And, as a result of that traffic, any incident may also require the help of lifeboats, the coastguard or a helicopter.

A rescue helicopter hovers above Camber beach after a drowning incident

As the tide comes in on Sunday people arriving at the noon start will initially be pushed back into a narrowing strip of sand between the water and the dunes (on the Rye Harbour side), or shingle and housing in The Suttons (on the Lydd side) though they will have more space later.

Crowds building along Camber Sands

BBC South East is expected to be in Camber on Friday to cover the frequent problem of traffic in Camber eventually leading over the years to general mayhem and road closures. Local residents however may be more concerned about whether cancelled actually means cancelled in practice.

However Rother District Council has now published a notice saying events would be in breach of government guidelines which would be enforced.

Image Credits: flavourbossldn , Rye News Library , Nick Forman , BBC .

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