Safe summer fun at Camber Sands

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The new lifeguards at Camber Sands were out in force last bank holiday weekend (Saturday 27 – Monday 29 May).

Following last summer’s tragic drowning of seven men, this is the first time that there have been lifeguards stationed on the ever popular beach, which can attract up to 25,000 visitors on its busiest days.

On a warm hazy Bank Holiday weekend Sunday, May 28, when Rye News visited the busy beach, the four lifeguards on duty were getting used to their state-of-the-art equipment – and what a lot of equipment. In addition to their lifeguard station and a Mitsubishi 4×4 the RNLI lifeguards had a jet ski and a quad bike at their disposal.

Rother District Council’s beach patrols are also on hand

Red and yellow flags on the beach highlighted the position of the lifeguard station, of which one of two was operating last weekend. The orange Rother District Council’s Beach Patrol units (pictured right) have also been set up again this year to complement the RNLI presence and deal with any beach-based issues such as lost children.

Already qualified as beach lifeguards, the RNLI team undertook a two-week induction programme at Camber Sands that covered advanced first aid, search and rescue techniques and local risks and hazards.

In high season the team of RNLI lifeguards will operate from two stations, located at Camber Sands Central and Camber Sands West. Four lifeguards will patrol on Camber Sands Central from 10am until 6pm, seven days a week from Saturday May 27 until Sunday October 1. A further two lifeguards will patrol at Camber Sands West from 10am until 6pm seven days a week from Saturday July 8 until Sunday September 10.

Speaking at the meeting where Rother District Council approved its £51,000 contribution to the new lifeguard service, Cllr Sally-Ann Hart, portfolio holder for public realm, culture and tourism, said: “Camber beach is three miles long and up to 700m wide at low tide and can never be completely risk-free, but we are committed to investing in our beach patrol, the lifeguard service and working with other agencies to ensure visitors to the beach are aware of the dangers of the sea.”

If the sunshine continues for the rest of the summer we can expect a very busy Camber Sands full of families having fun as they were last weekend. It’s good to know that the RNLI lifeguards will be at hand if anyone should get into trouble.

Photos: Kevin McCarthy

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