Heatwave attracts 50,000 to Camber

CAMBER had its busiest October weekend in living memory as soaring temperatures saw sun-seekers heading to the beach in their thousands.

An estimated 50,000 people crammed onto the beach over the two days.

The car parks had to be closed and beach teams located 42 lost children over the weekend.

Car park full signs were put up as far away as Rye Hill.

Larri Hayhurst, from Camber, said: “It was made worse as there was a very high tide and people were packed on the beach so tight the beach patrol team could not use vehicles to get around as they usually would. It was incredibly busy for October.”

Rother District Council spokesman Daniel Collins said: “The council and police officers successfully managed more than 50,000 visitors to Camber beach at the weekend in unprecedented scenes for the time of year.

“The heatwave put am extra strain on resources at the popular tourist spot.

“But advanced planning made sure everyone who visited could use the beach safely.

“With a good forecast predicted, the two partner organisations successfully extended ‘Operation Radcott’, set up to help cope with the extra influx of summer visitors to the resort and ensure the safety of residents and visitors.

“Police officers were drafted in to support council staff over the two days, waste contractors Verdant had their stay extended by a week, as did toilet cleaners, and beach patrol staff were called back from their colleges and universities to work one last weekend.

“Dover coastguard also provided additional units.

“These extra resources meant all 42 missing children who were reported missing were successfully reunited with their families with two mobile coastguard units assisting with searches and, despite long delays on the roads, the thousands of cars arriving at the beach were safely dealt with.”

Rother District Council coastal control officer Rob Cass said: “The reality of what happened matched and even exceeded our expectations. It was unprecedented at this stage of the season.

“Dover Coastguard gave me the discretion to call in whatever resources I needed, which was invaluable, and we also had the Pett Level rescue boat in the water, as the tide was high throughout the afternoon.

“I had lost my voice by the end of the weekend!

“I am proud of all those who played a part in getting people on the beach safely and effectively, keeping them safe and sending them home with their children.

“Thanks to all involved, from toilet cleaners, beach cleaners, kiosk ladies and my beach staff and coastguard colleagues.

“Thank you also to Sussex Police for arranging last-minute shift changes for officers to be here at a time when Operation Radcott had usually finished.”