Camber Sands lifeguards assisted ‘more than 300 missing children’ in 2018

Lifeguards at Camber with Rob Cass (centre), coastal officer for the beach. Photo by Kt Bruce
Lifeguards at Camber with Rob Cass (centre), coastal officer for the beach. Photo by Kt Bruce

Lifeguards at Camber Sands dealt with crowds of 25,000 people and reunited more than 300 missing children with their parents over summer 2018, it has been revealed.

As the lifeguard season, which began on May 26, drew to a close on Sunday, Rob Cass, coastal officer for Camber beaches, said: “The RNLI Lifeguard Service gives us a valuable resource in prevention and ultimately in reacting to incidents in the water.

“It is now an integral part of the operation involving RDC (Rother District Council), Sussex Police, SECAmb (South East Coast Ambulance Service) and HM Coastguard.

“The experience has provided an invaluable ‘on the job training’ for the lifeguards and has stood them in good stead for future years.

“They faced all the challenges that the sea and shoreline could throw at them and as a result of their high-quality training and fitness, they coped with flying colours.

“They dealt with crowds of 25,000 plus and missing children, sometimes as many as 30 or more a day.

“Medical attention given to the public involved treating anaphylactic shock, unconscious adults, heart-related problems, stings and burns from barbecues.”

After reuniting 300 children with their thankful parents, the RNLI lifeguards said low tide was the most challenging scenario for missing children as they wander down to the water-line, often 600 metres from the sandy beach, and have a paddle with a sibling.

There were mixed emotions on Sunday as the lifeguard team disbanded for the last day of the season.

During the summer, the lifeguards made good friends while working together and new experiences await many of them until they come together again next season.

Leon Driver is off to New Zealand to be a lifeguard there, where he will use his skills learnt here with the RNLI.

Rye Harbour RNLI press officer KT Bruce said: “Camber Sands has been a safe place for families this year with so many services working together to ensure that the seaside is a happy family experience.

“The lifeguards teach visitors to respect the sea and the tides and ensure that they return home with memories of a great fun holiday.”

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