Search under way for missing swimmer at Camber Sands

Ross Houston
August 31, 2016

Relatives of the five young men who drowned at Cambers Sands on Wednesday have also criticised they lack of lifeguards and admitted their loved ones might have survived if the beach had been manned.

"Rother District Council provide beach patrols who are on site throughout the summer and are able to advise people of the dangers of the sea, reunite lost children and deal with any incidents on the beach, including performing first aid".

And the 17-year-old said the family felt anger that the stretch of beach where they died had not been blocked off following Mr Da Cruz's death last month.

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

The men, who have been named by police, include 22-year-old Plumstead student Nitharsan Ravi, Inthushan Sriskantharasa, 23, from Essex and Gurushanth Srithavarajah, 27 of Elsa Road, Welling.

Local resident Emily Van Eyssen, 44, said money raised through vehicle parking charges at Camber should fund lifeguards there throughout the summer.

In a statement released by HM Coastguard, it said the reason for the major search at Camber Sands was that lifeguards were not on duty at the time it was reported.

Police said the men had all travelled to Camber for the day on Wednesday.

He said: "We went to the beach at 9am and the water was very calm".

Another onlooker suggested some of the men were fully clothed, prompting speculation they might have been refugees trying to cross from Europe. The three friends went under the water to try and save them but all five got into difficulty.

"Kurushanth was brought out dead first".

"This has been an incredibly tragic incident and we are offering their next of kin support at this hard time and our thoughts are with them". In the evening two more bodies were discovered.

Tom, who works at the Lido in Cheltenham, said: "Throughout the day, the water didn't get obviously more risky, it just happened quickly".

Late yesterday a spokeswoman for Rother District Council said: "More recently the environment has changed enormously with a different demographic of visitors - many of these are coming from inland and have very little or no experience of the sea and dangers it presents".

After initially saying there would be no need to deploy any lifeguards, the council has since accepted an offer from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to provide 5-6 lifeguards over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Other reports by iNewsToday