4 August 2020

Council leader’s ‘deep sadness’ after body found

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty has expressed his ‘deep sadness’ after the body of a man was found this morning on Hove beach.

The person is yet to be named or confirmed, but it is believed to be man who went missing on Sunday morning near Hove Lagoon after falling from his kayak.

Councillor Mac Cafferty said: “This is extremely sad and tragic news, and the thoughts and sympathies of myself and the whole council are with the man’s family and friends.

“I know the rescue services did everything they could to find the person on Sunday after scanning the sea for hours.

“I am deeply saddened to find this morning that the incident has ended in tragic circumstances.”

‘Please be extra careful and vigilant’ 

Councillor Mac Cafferty has called on people using the beach to be extra careful and vigilant when entering the sea.

“At this time of year, especially on hot days, the sea can look very inviting. But we must all remember it can also be extremely dangerous, especially when it’s choppy and the currents are strong.

“It’s so easy for a swimmer, kayaker or SUP-er to quickly get out of their depth and lose control of themselves and their equipment.

“Every beach is different, so make a point of reading safety signs, follow our guidelines and be extra cautious, especially in unfamiliar water.”

Remember how dangerous the sea can be

With the huge increase in people using Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) and kayaks, and more and more people including children taking to the warm waters, we’re calling on people to keep in mind how dangerous the sea can be – especially when it’s rough and the currents are strong.

Although we have lifeguards on the seafront and ready to help where they can, people still need to be keeping safe and not taking unnecessary risks.

Our lifeguard service has also been extended to cover beaches in Rottingdean.

Stay safe – follow these guidelines

  • stay close to the shore
  • only venture further out if you’re a strong swimmer
  • remember sea swimming is different from being in a pool
  • swim parallel to the shore
  • teach yourself and children to float in the water – it could save your life
  • always wear a proper life vest, especially children, if using a kayak or SUP 
  • ensure the kayak or SUP is attached to you by an ankle strap
  • don’t take a pet on board a kayak or SUP
  • overloading a kayak or SUP with people will make it unsteady and unsafe
  • consider taking lessons on kayaking and SUPing
  • if you get into trouble and have your mobile phone, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard 
  • learn what the beach flags mean, and take them seriously

What the beach flags mean

Beach flags are extremely important in keeping people safe. The following are used on UK beaches:

  • Red and yellow flags - Lifeguarded area: safest place to swim, bodyboard and use inflatables
  • Red flag - Danger! Never go in the water when the red flag is up, under any circumstances.
  • Black and white flags - For surfboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft. Never swim or bodyboard here.
  • •Orange windsock - Shows offshore winds or unsafe water conditions – never use an inflatable when the sock is flying.

You can find more information on our sea safety on the beach page.