Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell wants us to be on the lookout for holidaymakers putting themselves in danger this summer as figures from the RNLI show that deaths at the coast have reached a five-year high.
In 2015, 168 people lost their lives with the number of near-fatal incidents higher still as the RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved 385 lives.
The RNLI’s Respect the Water initiative is now in its third year and is targeting men, who accounted for 84% of deaths in 2015.
“What is most startling about these figures is that more than half of the people who die at the coast each year never plan to enter the water,” said Caroline.
“It’s people taking part in activities such as coastal walking, running, climbing or angling that are actually in greatest danger and just coastal running and walking accounted for 21% of deaths.
“I am a big supporter of the RNLI’s campaign to raise awareness of the dangers but local people have a part to play. The fact is Eastbourne attracts a great deal of visitors who are unfamiliar with the local tides and terrain, especially the nearby cliff top areas, so vigilance is needed at all time.
“I very much hope that residents who read this will now be on the lookout for those who are, perhaps, unwittingly putting themselves in danger and give out some advice.”