Eastbourne Lifeguards are reminding beach goers of the dangers of swimming when a Red Flag is flying after a family of three were rescued off Eastbourne beach, on Tuesday (18 July).
The family of three, which included two adults and a teenager, got into difficulty late in the afternoon after an unusual combination of wind and sea conditions created strong undercurrents.
Five lifeguards entered the sea to instigate a rescue and the family, who are now safe and well, were treated by two ambulances on the scene. The swimmers entered the water, despite the fact the Red Flag was flying at the time.
The incident followed two other rescues that day and six first aid treatments, conducted by the team at Eastbourne’s Lifeguard Station.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “Tuesday saw some quite unusual sea conditions, thanks to the easterly wind direction and high tides, which created some strong undercurrents.
“Although this is quite rare here in Eastbourne, it is important to remind everyone that when the Red Flag is flying it is not just an advisory, it’s actually a warning that swimming today could be very dangerous. Thankfully our Red Flag days are very few and far between in the summer!”
Eastbourne has seen a huge increase in sea swimming, stand up paddle-boarding and kayaking this year thanks to warmer sea temperatures, which have already reached 20°C this month. Beach visitors are advised to always check in at the Lifeguard Station for latest sea conditions, and always adhere to the Red Flag status as meaning absolutely no entry to the sea.
Children can learn more about safety in the sea at the Tyro Lifeguard Courses run by the Lifeguard team every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the summer holidays.
Eastbourne Lifeguard Station is open every day from 1 May to 30 September, open 10am to 6pm until 31 August and 10am to 5pm throughout September.
Photo credit: Visit Eastbourne