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Camber Sands Tragedy Leads To Lifeguards Patrolling Beach For Bank Holiday Weekend

Temporary service to 'reassure the public and advise on safety'.

26/08/2016 12:51

Lifeguards will be deployed this bank holiday weekend at Camber Sands where five young friends died during a day trip on Wednesday. 

Council officials said the temporary RNLI lifeguard service at the beach, near Rye in East Sussex, is designed to “reassure the public and advise on safety”.

The development follows the deaths on Wednesday of five men, named locally as Inthushan Sri, 23, Nitharsan Ravi, 22, Kurushanth Srithavarajah, 26, and brothers Kobi Nathan, 21, and Ken, 19, all from London.

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Lifeguards will be deployed at Camber Sands this weekend to 'reassure the public' following the deaths of five men there on Wednesday

Relatives of some of the men have criticised the lack of lifeguards at Camber Sands and suggested the group may have stood a chance of survival if the beach had been manned.

Ravi’s family said they felt “very angry” at the lack of response from the authorities following the death of another man, Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz, 19, at Camber Sands last month.

And Ravi’s younger brother, Ajirthan, 19, said: “There wasn’t any lifeguards cruising around, because they would have quickly noticed these boys drowning, and could have at least saved their lives.”

Ken and Kobi Nathan’s father, Satthiyanathan Arumukam, 51, of Erith, south-east London, told The Sun: “I brought my children from Sri Lanka because it is not safe back there.

“But there were no lifeguards on the beach where they died. If there had been, my sons would have at least had a fighting chance of survival.”

A spokesman for Rother District Council said that, despite there being no lifeguards, there were summer patrols to advise people of potential dangers.

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Ajirthan Ravi, the younger brother of victim Nitharsan Ravi, has called for the beach to be patrolled by lifeguards

In recent years, Camber Sands has attracted people from outside the area who were unfamiliar with the sea and the dangers it poses, he added.

An online petition started a month ago to campaign for lifeguards at Camber has now reached more than 6,800 signatures.

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

Ravi’s brother said his sibling died after trying to rescue two of his friends who had become trapped beneath the water.

He said: “Ken and Inthushan got stuck in water. So what they do is the three boys try to save them.”

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Ravi, bottom right, pictured with KurushanthSrithavarajah, (bottom front), who has been named as another victim

He said attempts failed and Srithavarajah was brought out first and declared dead straight away.

“My bro and Kobi had heartbeats and managed to survive for a few minutes but after first aid they couldn’t recover.”

Both died within 15 minutes after being pulled from the water, he said.

The bodies of Ken Nathan and Sri were discovered later that evening, he said, adding that he thought they had got their legs caught in the “slippery mud” and sand on the seabed.

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