Seafront officers in Brighton & Hove are urging residents and visitors to stay safe on the seafront this winter.
The warning comes as the New Year approaches and families and friends are planning walks along the seafront and beaches.
Keep your distance
“Everyone loves a walk on the seafront, but it’s easy to get carried away, particularly when drinking,” said seafront operations manager Chris Ingall.
“It’s essential that both residents and visitors stick to the Tier 4 Covid restrictions, meeting in groups of six or less and keeping their distance from others.
“It’s also important to stay away from the sea.”
Research indicates that more than a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol and/or drugs in their bloodstream.
“We advise people to stick together in their family groups and bubbles, stay away from the sea and don’t take any risks,” added Chris. “Look out for your friends and make sure they get home safely.”
Stay out of the sea
We're also advising swimmers against taking a New Year dip.
Chris said: “As open water swimming has become more popular over the last few years, we are seeing more swimmers gathering for winter swim sessions.
“It is extremely important that those wishing to enjoy this invigorating and extreme form of free and healthy activity, fully understand the real dangers involved.
“Cold water sea swimming takes skill, stamina and knowledge of the physical dangers and should only be for the very experienced, using suitable wetsuits, in very calm conditions and with friends.
"Even on a calm day sea currents, unpredictable waves or a sudden change in weather can create life threatening hazards without warning. Even experienced swimmers can get caught out.
“Check the conditions on the day - the sea will be there tomorrow, don’t take unnecessary risks, that could threaten your life or others trying to help!”
Chris added that the seafront officers are always happy to advise swimmers on sea conditions. “We have constant updates on the weather conditions and would urge anyone wanting to swim to talk to us first.”
The seafront office 2021 tide timetables for the Brighton & Hove beaches should be available shortly.
Protect your family and friends
To keep your family and friends safe, here’s a reminder of the Tier 4 rules
- The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments.
- No household mixing, aside from support bubbles and two people meeting in public outdoor spaces.
- Hospitality closed, aside from sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery.
- Essential shops can open. Non-essential retail must close and can only open for click-and-collect and delivery.
- Everyone must work from home unless they are unable to do so.
- Early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open during term time. Registered childcare, other supervised activities for childcare purposes, and childcare bubbles permitted.
- Gyms and indoor leisure facilities must close.
- Hotels and other accommodation must close (with limited exceptions)
- Personal care providers – hair, beauty, nail and massage – must close
- You must not stay overnight away from home. Limited exceptions apply.
- Funerals of up to 30 people permitted. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to six. Weddings of up to six can continue in exceptional circumstances.
- Indoor entertainment venues are closed. Some outdoor attractions may remain open.
- Places of worship are open for private prayer and communal worship, but you cannot interact with anyone outside your household or support bubble.
- You must stay at home and only travel for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. If you must travel, you should stay local, and reduce the number of journeys you make. You must not leave a Tier 4 area or stay overnight away from home. Residents in Tiers 1 - 3 should not enter Tier 4 areas. Do not travel abroad if you live in a Tier 4 area unless an exemption applies.
- You can leave your home to exercise by yourself, with your household or support bubble, or with one person from another household. Outdoor sport allowed but gatherings limit applies except for youth and disabled sport.
- You can visit relatives in care homes with COVID-secure arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.
- No sports or live performances can take place.