A Hastings councillor has added his voice to calls for the introduction of permanent lifeguards at Camber Sands.
Cllr Phil Scott, East Sussex County Councillor for Hollington and Wishing Tree, says beach safety has been ‘compromised’ and says Rother District Council has ‘failed miserably’ in ensuring that safety of people is of paramount importance.
Cllr Scott’s calls follow the tragic deaths of five young men who visited Camber Sands last month.
There was a public outcry following the deaths, which happened on a beach which is not patrolled by lifeguards.
The RNLI provided a voluntary service following the deaths until the end of the summer season.
But Cllr Scott says it is time for Rother to take action to improve safety.
Cllr Scott said: “Five young people lost their lives at Camber Sands in a tragedy that could and should have been avoided.
“With beach security and safety compromised at a beach site already notorious following on from another life lost recently, Rother District Council have failed miserably in ensuring that safety of people is of paramount importance.
“Visitors and residents alike including the many that come from the Hastings and Rye and the Bexhill area should be challenging Rother District Council about what actions they will take in the future to ensure beach safety at Camber Sands.
“Permanent lifeguard stations should be set up to ensure that another tragedy like this never happens again.”
A Rother District Council spokesman said: “We are continuing to work with the RNLI, the emergency services and other partners to review arrangements at Camber Sands, including looking at the possibility of a permanent lifeguard service.
“What happened at the beach was a tragedy but shouldn’t detract from the fact that historically Camber has a good safety record and hundreds of thousands of people enjoy the beach safely every year.
“We’d be happy to speak to Cllr Scott about the incident at Camber, the challenges of managing a beach of this nature and the safety measures we already have in place, including the wide-ranging duties carried out by our beach patrols.”
A petition calling for permanent lifeguards at Camber Sands currently has more than 8,000 signatures.
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