Camber Sands deaths: Lifeguards to remain for summer season

Lifeguards on Camber
Image caption Lifeguards are working alongside beach patrols at Camber Sands

Lifeguards are to remain for the rest of the summer at a beach where five men died, the BBC has learned.

A temporary RNLI lifeguard service has already been put in place at Camber Sands over the bank holiday weekend to reassure people and advise on safety.

Sources have told the BBC lifeguards will remain at the East Sussex beach until the end of the summer season.

Relatives of those who died have criticised the lack of lifeguards there.

How to stay safe at the beach

The men who died at the beach on Wednesday were in their teens and 20s and all from south east London.

They have been named by police as:

  • Kenugen Saththiyanathan, 18, from Erith
  • Kobikanthan Saththiyanathan 22, from Erith
  • Nitharsan Ravi, 22, from Plumstead
  • Inthushan Sriskantharaja, 23, from Grays
  • Gurushanth Srithavarajah, 27, from Welling

Last month, 19-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz also died while swimming in the sea at Camber.

Mr Sriskantharaja's brother-in-law Sivasothy Bijayaruba said: "We don't know what happened the other day. He went to the beach with his friends, but we don't know what happened there.

"At midnight, the police knocked on our door, they said there's a sad incident."

Mr Bijayaruba said he and his wife travelled down to Sussex to identify the body.

Paying tribute to him, he said: "He was always laughing and joking...he was a nice guy, and funny."

He said his brother-in-law liked to spend time with friends and play with his nine-year-old niece and added: "We can't forget him."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nitharsan Ravi's family say the beach should have been closed

The RNLI said it was providing extra lifeguards this weekend after Rother District Council accepted its offer to provide them.

Councillor Sally-Ann Hart said safety was under constant review, but Camber had been categorised as a safe beach.

"Having said that, the RNLI are providing a temporary service this weekend," she said.

"They are redeploying services from other beaches around the country to provide reassurance to visitors and holidaymakers in view of the recent tragedies, because they are horrendous.

"It might well be that lifeguards may be deployed in the future when all the evidence is looked at as to what caused these deaths."

Rother council previously said beach patrols were on duty to advise beachgoers of potential dangers.

An online petition calling for lifeguards at Camber Sands has been signed by more than 7,500 people.

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