Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

August 25, 2016

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Petition calls for lifeguards at Camber Sands after five men die

Kyle Lifeboat

Credit: RNLI

Over 5,000 people have now signed a petition calling for lifeguards at Camber Sands, after five men in their late teens and early 20s died yesterday (24 August), on the hottest day of the year.

The men, believed to have been on a day trip, are thought to come from greater London. Three of the men were pulled from the water on Wednesday afternoon, while two more bodies were discovered by a member of the public as the tide receded at about 20:00, the RNLI said.

Ch Supt Di Roskilly of Sussex Police said: “We believe we now know who the men are and that they came to the beach together for the day.

“We believe they are all in their late teens and early 20s and come from the Greater London area.

“These men were not fully clothed when they were pulled from the sea but wearing clothes appropriate for being at the beach for the day.

“We have no further reports of anyone else missing from Camber and there are no ongoing searches related to this incident.

“This has been an incredibly tragic incident and we are offering their next of kin support at this difficult time.”

Police said none of the victims had been stung by jellyfish.


The deaths have intensified calls for permanent lifeguards to be stationed at Camber Sands. Beach patrols are in operation, but many feel that the beach, which is visited by up to 25,000 people on a summer day, needs further safety improvements to keep the public safe.

Last month, 19-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz died while swimming in the sea there. He was one of three men who got into trouble in the water.

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “We are very saddened by the tragic incident at Camber Sands and our thoughts are with the families of those involved.

“Our beach patrols have been working with the emergency services at the scene and will continue to provide whatever assistance is required.

“While it’s very upsetting to see two similar, tragic incidents this summer, over the years these kind of incidents are extremely rare and on a fine day around 25,000 people use the beach safely.

“We provide beach patrols who are on site throughout the summer and are able to advise people of the dangers of the sea, reunite lost children and deal with any incidents on the beach, including performing first aid. These patrols are supported over the summer months by Sussex Police.

“Although it’s too early to draw any conclusions from this latest incident, in recent years we have seen a change in the make-up of visitors to Camber, including more people from outside the area who are not familiar with the sea and the dangers it can pose.

“Regular assessments are carried out at Camber beach, along with the RNLI, to inform what measures need to be taken to guide visitor safety and ensure the beach is safe.

“To date this has not identified the need for lifeguards to be deployed at the beach and there have never been lifeguards employed at this beach.

“We are in regular discussion with emergency services and other colleagues to ensure that the measures currently in place are sufficient and identify any additional measures that may need to be taken, either in terms of arrangements at the beach or doing more to educate people of the dangers of the sea.”

The RNLI has urged seaside visitors to take care and respect the water after Wednesday’s incident brought the number of fatalities around Britain’s coastline in the past week up to 12. “The sea may look appealing and the RNLI would encourage people to use it, but do so safely – it can be dangerously unpredictable,” a spokeswoman said.

“Please visit lifeguarded beaches and swim between the red and yellow flags – the safe swim zone and the area watched by lifeguards. RNLI lifeguards are always happy to answer any questions or advise of any risks, including where any rip currents may be, which can catch out even the most experienced swimmers.”

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steve paul
steve paul
7 years ago

you cannot have lifeguards on every beach !!! these individuals were ADULTS, what about personal responsibility

7 years ago

It’s the sea. The council don’t own it. Usually it is a relatively benign stretch of beach. No-one really seems to know why this group were tragically caught out. Sad, but let’s keep a sense of proportion.