Water and beach safety will be thrown into the spotlight when the summer season officially begins at Camber Sands next week.
In normal circumstances, Operation Radcott is an annual initiative bringing together East Sussex County Council, Rother District Council, Sussex Police, the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Sout East Coast Ambulance, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and local stakeholders, which launches on July 1 with the aim of improving safety at the popular beach.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Operation Radcott has been meeting weekly to manage the unprecedented number of visitors seen outside of the traditional summer season.
Officers and beach staff will spend the next two months continuing to share safety messages, reuniting lost children, administering first aid and addressing anti-social behaviour, while RNLI lifeguard will also keep a watchful eye on those in the water.
While those visiting the beach may have already seen an increase in police and beach staff in recent weeks in response to an unprecedented surge in visitor number during lockdown, additional measures will be put in place until September.
A spokesman for Operation Radcott said: “With as many as 25,000 people heading to Camber Sands each day during the summer months, it’s vital that we step up our efforts to keep them as safe as possible during their visit.
“As well as additional patrols on the beach itself, police and beach officers will be focussing on public safety off the beach, including in the car parks.
“We appreciate that people will want to make the most of the summer weather, but we would ask people to carefully consider whether they head to Camber on potentially busy days and, if they do, keep themselves safe and respect those working on the beach.”
With limited car parking at Camber, which is served by a single public road, matrix sings will be in operation on the local road network to divert traffic away when the car parks are full. Visitors are being urged to park sensibly to avoid blocking access for emergency service vehicles to Camber village and the beach itself.
The spokesman added: “We appreciate how frustrating it can be to travel for a day out only to find the car parks full, but we would urge motorists not to park on verges or in a way that blocks access to the beach or village. Poor parking could delay emergency help reaching those who need it.”
To deal with the rubbish generated by thousands of people on the beach, additional bins will be provided during the summer season, but visitors are being asked to take their rubbish home if the bins are full.
In just one week 10 tonnes of rubbish was collected from Camber Sands – the equivalent of around 190,000 plastic bottles, prompting a Rother District Council campaign to keep the beach clean and oceans clean.
For more information about staying safe at Camber Sands visit https://www.rother.gov.uk/leisure-and-events/beaches-and-coastline/camber-sands/