New scheme helps kids stay safe on busy beach

Camber beach, 23/4/11.
Camber beach, 23/4/11.

A NEW wrist band scheme will help children stay safe on Camber’s busy beach.

Rye police officers, together with partner agencies, have been handing out wristbands to children to wear in a bid to quickly reunite them with their families should they become lost on Camber Sands Beach this summer.

Thousands of sun seekers head for the beach on hot days and reuniting lost children with their parents is one of the main problems facing the beach team.

Rother District police commander Chief Inspector Katy Woolford said: “With record temperatures we saw a record number of visitors to the beach in July - somewhere in the region of 27,000. Sixty seven young children were then reported lost - but thankfully due to the wrist bands all were quickly reunited with their families.”

The wristbands are blank and parents are then able to write their contact details on them. They also come in two different colours depending on where you are on the beach - blue for the eastern end and yellow for the western end.

Chief Inspector Woolford added: “The bands are in boxes outside the coastal control office, the Camber police box on the beach and other nearby car parks and are handed out by beach patrol personnel.”

Safety on the beach is part of Op Radcott - a multi agency operation to the summer policing of Camber Sands Beach and is lead by Rother District Council.

Cllr Martin Kenward, Rother District Council member for tourism and leisure, said: “We want all our Camber visitors to have a great time and it’s our job to help make sure that happens by keeping people safe on the beach.

“By working closely with our partners and using innovative ideas, such as the wristbands, we are able to deal with tens of thousands of people per day and ensure they remember their visit to the seaside for the right reasons.”

Chief Inspector Katy Woolford continued: “Another part of the Op Radcott campaign that is supported by Rother District Council involves PCSO Dan Bevan visiting local primary schools to give talks about safety on the beach. Dan has been to St Michael’s School at Playden to speak to children.

“Dan’s talks include information on the different flags used on beaches, rules and regulations, information about tides, sand bars, being careful when digging holes on the beach and dunes and what to do if you get stung by a jelly fish.”

Holly Newton from St Michaels school in Playden said “PC Dan” as the children call him, is thoroughly engaging and taught the children many important lessons about beach safety. His visits are always eagerly anticipated by the children, and they have enjoyed getting to know him.”