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Camber sands tragedy

(230 Posts)
bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 25-Aug-16 11:41:32

What on earth has happened at Camber Sands? Are there insufficient life guards or something? I am not prone to hysteria but I would not be going to that beach anytime soon. Such a terrible event, somewhat buried by other news yesterday and the string of drownings in the last week.

magimedi Thu 25-Aug-16 12:24:12

There are no life guards at Camber Sands - just a beach patrol.

I am a good swimmer (I pool swim 1K freestyle 3 x a week) & regularly swim in the sea about 20 miles from Camber. I can not believe how stupid people are. I see non swimmers swimming with floats, people going in with clothes on, children being allowed inflatables when there is an offshore wind, people swimming after drinking etc etc.

It may be hot out but that water is not - it's about 20C atm & that is quite chilly. Easy to get cramp & there are strong currents & rip tides along that stretch of coast. I never go out of my depth & always swim parallel to the shore. Yesterday the West - East current on the beach I was on was very strong & I had to walk back to my start point after a bit.

I am not saying that those who, sadly, lost their lives yesterday were guilty of any of the things I have written about but you do see some very dangerous behavior on the beach.

magimedi Thu 25-Aug-16 12:25:03

Posted too soon - there is a petition for there to be life guards at Camber - there was another fatality back in July. It is a very popular & crowded beach.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 25-Aug-16 12:55:35

Goodness, am shocked by no lifeguards! Is that often the case on UK beaches?

But at least there should be warning flags or messages if the current was as you say yesterday.

I'm getting a little bit fed up about the innuendo of victim blaming in some of the comments on these stories. People have died and were incredibly unlucky sad

I think the big mystery about the 5 yesterday is that they were young, presumably fit men all in a group. Perhaps they all just swam way too far out. So awful!

PortiaCastis Thu 25-Aug-16 13:01:10

RNLI lifeguards are volunteers so perhaps a request for people to train as a lifeguard volunteer would be helpful.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 25-Aug-16 13:03:03

There are no lifeguards on the vast majority of UK beaches.

Perhaps they all just swam way too far out. So awful!

Surely this^ is also victim blaming.

There was a recent thread in MN about how little awareness most people have of the dangers of the sea, I think this story back that up.

NotSoWittyMinded Thu 25-Aug-16 13:04:45

I've been two two different beaches in the last week. Both popular neither of them had life guards

One was cleethorpes, the other was Hunstanton.

Hunstanton had one shack on the promenade handing out wristbands for children in case they were lost and they probably did double up as a life guard but one lifeguard over several miles of beach? No chance. They was no where near where we were wading.

I take both of my children into the sea but they are not allowed to go past knee level and they are not allowed in the water alone.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 25-Aug-16 13:10:42

hmm how is that victim blaming? I said they made a mistake, which anyone could. I didn't say they had been wilfully ignorant or any of the unpleasant comments I've seen bandied about in some places.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 25-Aug-16 13:12:16

Very surprised about the lifeguards situation. I hardly ever go to the beach in the UK, almost never in the summer time, so had no idea!

RebootYourEngine Thu 25-Aug-16 13:12:51

There was an article in a newspaper that they could have been illegal migrants. Not sure how true this could be but why would you go swimming fully clothed. I live near the coast and the only thing part of my body that touches the sea is my toes. The sea is too cold and too unpredictable.

Peregrina Thu 25-Aug-16 13:15:09

Try this RNLI challenge.

I drowned BTW, so tried again and survived, but real life wouldn't be like that.

magimedi Thu 25-Aug-16 13:16:41

The length of the UK coastline (not including islands) is nearly 8,000 miles. I don't know how many beaches that equates to, but you could not possibly patrol them all. I don't think you'd be able to find enough trained lifeguards & it is only a seasonal job.

NotSoWittyMinded Thu 25-Aug-16 13:18:41

I survived grin

But it's easy to say those choices when you aren't in the situation. When you are actually in difficulty in water logic doesn't take first priority

magimedi Thu 25-Aug-16 13:20:23

They are not illegal migrants - that was a rumor.

I do see a lot of people running into the sea in shorts & T shirts - maybe they've forgotten their costumes?

I survived that challenge, Peregrina but unless you have learnt about water safety it's not obvious what to do & does go against instinct.

FrozenAteMyDaughter Thu 25-Aug-16 13:26:19

The problem is most of us don't have a clue how to be safe in the sea because we hardly ever see it never mind swim in it. We don't understand rip currents or tides or winds. We visit places like Camber once a year on a gorgeous sunny day and the sea looks so safe and blue and inviting and everyone else is having a lovely time.

It is so easy to get caught out in that situation and also quite hard for others to recognise you are struggling, and if they do, and come and help, they can have problems too.

Popular beaches like Camber really do need lifeguards because I am not sure that just being warned about rip currents etc will actually deter people from swimming unless they actually experience one themselves. It is so easy to think - Oh I'll be fine, I can swim - and not realise how easy it is to get in trouble. I got caught in one once and so I know now how scary it can be but I don't think I really understood the power of the sea until I had been there myself.

Not saying of course that any of this is necessarily relevant to the recent tragedies, but I think it is generally a problem.

MachiKoro Thu 25-Aug-16 13:27:20

There was a story before this happened about a young lady holidaymaker in Cornwall that had been rescued from the beach, stranded by the tide, three times in four days! RNLI had given her a safety talk after the third time shock
Some people just don't take good care if themselves.

magimedi Thu 25-Aug-16 13:30:26

The district council that Camber Sands falls in (Rother) has said that up to 25,000 people a day use Camber in the high season.

I would have thought that that number would indicate that lifeguards would be needed.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 25-Aug-16 13:33:35

The illegal immigrant theory is just bizarre! What on earth?

FrozenAteMyDaughter Thu 25-Aug-16 13:34:10

Apparently the huge amount of money raised from the car park there goes to another town for a pavilion or something? Someone has suggested perhaps that money could be diverted to provide a lifeguard instead.

lemonzest123 Thu 25-Aug-16 13:35:24

Katie Hopkins already mouthing off about this! angry

Becca19962014 Thu 25-Aug-16 13:35:30

I live not far from Barmouth where two teenagers recently drowned. A couple of years ago a RNLI volunteer drowned in the small harbour.

It's treacherous. There have been numerous discussions about lifeguards but it is a very dangerous place to actually swim. Yes it's lovely and there's the gentle beach, blue sky etc but it shelves very very fast and the currents are treacherous due to the location.

I don't know camber, I've no idea what it's is like in terms of currents or sudden shelving but I know Barmouth really well. I'd never swim there even when I could, I walk in the sea sometimes but wouldn't even paddle in some parts of it, especially not the harbour (there's a small sandy beach there which suddenly drops).

Don't get me started on shops selling huge inflatables on seafronts!

I think it's an education thing and if you have been bought up by the sea, or rivers or canals you have it drummed into what can happen though maybe not anymore, do schools still have nice little films of kids drowning to show the little ones what'll happen to them and give them nightmares for weeks ?

insancerre Thu 25-Aug-16 13:38:39

I survived!
Probably because I can't swim, so swimming would never be an option for me

I live on the coast and we don't have lifeguards
We hardly ever have any sea, its all sand most of the time

IfTheCapFitsWearIt Thu 25-Aug-16 13:38:49

There is some good info and advice on this thread

Peregrina Thu 25-Aug-16 13:41:47

I survived that challenge, Peregrina but unless you have learnt about water safety it's not obvious what to do & does go against instinct.

I ought to have survived - I have got my bronze personal survival certificate, so I know more than the average person!

You also can't account for stupidity. I gave my DD a bollocking last summer when she wanted to swim in the water when the red flags were flying on the beach. "It looks OK, I know how to swim". She's an adult FFS!

IfTheCapFitsWearIt Thu 25-Aug-16 13:43:54

<-----Spotting a rip current

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