The RNLI have released a statement following today's inquest verdict on the seven deaths at Camber Sands.
The events at Camber Sands last July and August were very tragic. Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of the seven men who sadly lost their lives.
As a charity with a focus on saving lives at sea and preventing drowning, we have a strategic aim to halve accidental coastal drownings by 50% by 2024. We are pleased to see the Coroner has recognised the importance of beach safety and the need to focus on collaborative working to do more to raise people’s awareness of water safety and to ensure all appropriate safety measures are in place.
Sadly we cannot guarantee a tragedy like this will never happen again.There is currently no statutory requirement for local authorities and landowners to provide lifeguards. We are more than happy to give advice and make recommendations concerning beach safety matters from signage to a lifeguard service. It is then up to others to decide if our recommendations are implemented. We therefore welcome the Coroner’s decision to write to central Government with his recommendations.
We have been providing advice for Rother District Council over the last few years and this summer we have provided a seasonal lifeguard service at Camber Sands. Our highly trained lifeguards are working alongside the current council beach safety patrol team to talk to beach visitors in an attempt to prevent incidents like this from happening again. This is just one of over 240 RNLI lifeguarded beaches in the UK and Ireland and we will continue to work with our partners including those involved with the National Water Safety Forum to reach as many people as we can in order to prevent downing and emphasise the message to respect the water.''
For anyone wanting to learn more about how they can keep themselves safe when visiting the beach please visit www.respectthewater.com
Watch our special programme on the day the coroner recorded verdicts of 'misadventure' for the seven men who died on the beach last summer.
An inquest is due to open into the deaths of five friends who drowned during a day trip to Camber Sands in East Sussex last summer.