Camber Sands inquest to examine deaths of five friends

Credit: ITV Meridian

An inquest is due to open into the deaths of five friends who drowned during a day trip to Camber Sands last summer.

The men, who all lived in the London area and were of Sri Lankan origin, ran into difficulties at the beach near Hastings in East Sussex, on 24th August 2016.

They were Kenugen Saththiyanathan, 18, and his brother Kobikanthan Saththiyanathan, 22, both of Normandy Way, Erith, south-east London, and their friends Nitharsan Ravi, 22, of Admaston Road, Plumstead, south-east London, Inthushan Sriskantharasa, 23, of Chadwell Road, Grays, Essex, and Gurushanth Srithavarajah, 27, of Elsa Road, Welling, south-east London.

Inthushan, Gurushanth and Nitharsan (from left to right)

Two other people also lost their lives at the beach about a month before.

Mohit Dupar, 36, from Hayes, west London, tried to reach Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz, 19, as he got into difficulty but both men died.

The circumstances surrounding their deaths will also be considered as part of the inquest into the five friends' loss of life.

An inquest into Mr Dupar and Mr Da Cruz's deaths was adjourned last November by East Sussex senior coroner Alan Craze.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Rother District Council agreed in February to allocate £51,000 in its 2017/18 budget to bring in seasonal lifeguard cover following demands for safety to be increased at Camber, which can attract up to 30,000 day-trippers during peak season.

Council officials have said the beach, which is three miles long and nearly half a mile wide at low tide, can never be completely risk-free but they were determined to boost safety.

Four lifeguards now patrol Camber Sands Central from 10am to 6pm, seven days a week.

The patrols will continue until 1st October this year, with a further two lifeguards patrolling Camber Sands West at the same times from 8th July to 10th September.

The inquest is to be held at Muriel Matters House on Hastings seafront and is expected to last at least a week.