COUNTY NEWS: Lifeguard funds earmarked after summer beach deaths

More than £50,000 has been earmarked for the possibility of lifeguards at a Sussex beach following the deaths of seven swimmers there this summer.

The air ambulance at Camber Sands the day five friends drowned. Photo: Twitter
The air ambulance at Camber Sands the day five friends drowned. Photo: Twitter

Rother District Council has allocated £51,000 with the title ‘lifeguards on the foreshore at Camber’ in its 2017/18 draft revenue budget.

Seven swimmers died after getting into difficulty in the water at Camber Sands on two separate days leading to calls for lifeguards to be introduced permanently.

A council spokesman said the money has been included in the budget, which has not been formally agreed yet, to provide funding for the option a review of the beach recommends.

“We continue to look closely at all options for Camber beach and are in discussion with relevant partners.

“Money has been earmarked in the 2017/18 budget to ensure funding is available to implement the agreed option.”

The draft budget was agreed by Rother’s cabinet on Wednesday, December 14, and will now go to the overview and scrutiny committee for consideration.

It then goes back to cabinet in February before the final budget is put to a vote of the full council, also in February.

A 19-year-old Brazilian teenager, Gustavo Silva Da Cruz, died after getting into difficulty in the sea on July 24, with Mohit Dupar, 36, dying in hospital four days later after trying to save him.

Exactly a month later five friends from London and Essex – brothers Kenugen and Kobikanthan Saththiyanathan, Nitharsan Ravi, Inthushan Sriskantharasa and Gurushanth Srithavarajah – drowned at the popular beach while on a day trip.

A spokesman for the group has repeatedly called for lifeguards, with thousands signing a petition, and the RNLI provided temporary lifeguards for the remaining summer season.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said during Mr Silva Da Cruz’s inquest that he would be looking at what public safety measures could be used at the beach.

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