Harwich Town Council

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Busy weekend for beach patrol as service praised by paramedics

Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Beach Patrol had a busy weekend as the hot weather coincided with the start of the summer holidays for some.

With tides meaning the Essex Sunshine Coast’s beaches were fully exposed for the whole day, Tendring’s Beach Patrol teams stationed at Dovercourt, Walton, Frinton, Clacton and Brightlingsea were on hand to help those enjoying the sunshine.

Staff supported with numerous minor first aid treatments, and helped to reunite 15 children who had been separated from their guardians across the district.

A number of sea rescues were also required, including helping those who were on inflatables and got into difficulty and some who could not swim and got out of their depth.

Beachgoers are also being reminded of the dangers of groynes and breakwaters, including not to dive off of them, following the most serious incident of the weekend.

A group of young men ignored several warnings from Tendring Beach Patrol to not jump off Groyne 41 on Clacton’s West Beach. While the rest of the group heeded a final warning, one individual attempted a dive but gave himself a spinal injury.

Tendring Beach Patrol staff rushed into action, supporting the man’s head and providing first response until paramedics arrived, continuing to keep the casualty stable until he was transferred to an ambulance, and on to hospital in a stable condition.

Ambulance staff later praised Tendring Beach Patrol for their actions, recognising their professionalism and support in what could have been a major incident.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said it was important people respect the water.

“While our brilliant Tendring Beach Patrol – along with the RNLI and Coastguard – are on hand to help people, beach goers need to take their own steps to keep themselves safe,” Cllr Porter said.

“That is why we urge people to stay within their depth and be aware the water can shelve quite quickly in places becoming too deep to stand in, while inflatables are not advised at sea and, if they are used, must tethered to the shore as even slight winds and tides can quickly pull them out to sea.

“Groynes, breakwaters and piers can also be incredibly dangerous. Strong and unusual currents around them can quickly cause even strong swimmers to get into difficulties.

“Breakwaters and groynes can also be very slippery, and if you fall and trap a leg you could be in real danger when the tide comes in. So it is best to stay away.

“We love people coming to visit and enjoy the Essex Sunshine Coast, but please do so responsibly.”

Tendring Beach Patrol are based at stations around the district between 10.30am and 6pm during the school holidays, and are available for advice and information, and to call upon for help. In an emergency along the shore people should dial 999 and ask for Coastguard.

People can also check how busy beaches are by using the LoveTendring app, free to download on Apple and Android, with updates provided hourly by Tendring Beach Patrol when they are on duty.