Lifeguard service to offer reassurance at Camber approved

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Lifeguard service to offer reassurance at Camber approved

LIFEGUARDS will patrol Camber beach this summer after funding towards the service was approved by Rother District Council.

At a meeting of the full council on Monday (27) councillors agreed its 2017/18 budget which allocates £51,000 towards the introduction of a seasonal lifeguard service at the beach.

Lifeguards will be stationed at the beach from the late May bank holiday until the end of the summer holidays, in a bid to offer reassurance to the more than a million people who visit the popular tourist destination each year.

Speaking after the full council meeting Cllr Sally-Ann Hart, a local member and portfolio holder for public realm, culture and tourism, said: "The tragedies last year at Camber Sands are very sad and our thoughts remain with the families of those who lost their lives. 

"The incidents were significant and unprecedented and we need to react to the changing circumstances affecting policy, particularly where public safety is concerned.

"As a council, we are determined to reduce the risk of such incidents where we can. We not only need to protect the visiting public, but also the economy and livelihoods of our coastal tourism businesses in Camber.

"The issue is not just about safety provision on the beach; it is also about people from all communities across Britain being better informed on beach/water safety before they come to the beach."

Safety at Camber is kept under constant review, which has resulted in a wide range of measures to improve safety on the beach over a number of years.

The RNLI had already been asked by the council to carry out a safety assessment of the beach following the first drowning incident in July, and has since been working on a proposal for a lifeguard service.

Cllr Hart added: "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."

Inquests into the drownings last year are awaited and Rother District Council will carefully consider the coroner's finding into the cause of these deaths and act on any recommendations the coroner might make.

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