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Leisure & Seafronts

Beach Patrol launches operations ahead of half-term holidays


Visitors to the Essex Sunshine Coast are being encouraged to ‘Respect the Water’ as Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Beach Patrol begins its operations this weekend.

Beach Patrol’s summer season gets underway in Clacton, Frinton, Walton, alongside the Seafront Warden service in Dovercourt and Brightlingsea, this weekend - which marks the start of schools’ summer half-term break.

This year will see a series of changes to improve Beach Patrol coverage, including lifeguarded beaches being marked with red and yellow flags and a new presence to the east side of Clacton Pier.

The changes are among the recommendations made following a review of the service by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), and TDC is putting in place some of the short-term measures while it considers the wider feedback.

Councillor Mick Barry, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Public Realm, said: “We want to encourage visitors to our coastline and hope they enjoy our beaches, alongside our residents.

“Our coastline is a great place to visit but, as with any coastline, there are inherent dangers.

“We help to reduce those risks with supervised beaches, thanks to our excellent Beach Patrol team – which gives advice and guidance, first aid, and also helps to rescue those who get into difficulty.

“Last summer patrols had to tell hundreds of people to stop climbing on rocks, groynes or breakwaters as well as giving advice to swimmers who had either gone out too far or on an inflatable, which can quickly be blown out to sea with only a gentle breeze.

“That’s why we’re urging people to back the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign by following advice from warning flags, not swimming near, around or under piers, as well as knowing their depth, being wary of sudden drops in the sea floor, and being aware of tides and currents - and not swimming while drunk.

“Beach Patrol is not an emergency service and if you see someone in difficulty, please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Beach Patrol will be present in Clacton, Frinton and Walton on Saturday, Sunday and all Bank Holidays, from 10.30am to 5.30pm, until the end of Summer school holidays – and will also operate Monday to Friday during the school holidays.

In Dovercourt and Brightlingsea, the Seafront Warden service operates from 11am to 5pm.

Swim Safe, a national RNLI and Swim England initiative supported locally by TDC, is running free public sessions teaching sea safety during the summer holidays, with sessions at Clacton’s Martello in July and August.

Sessions will be available to book six weeks before they are due to start at

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