Staying safe on the seafront this weekend

As we look forward to another hot and sunny weekend, our seafront officers are appealing to residents and visitors to stay safe on the seafront.

The warning comes after recent sunny weekends have attracted thousands of people to Brighton & Hove, keen to enjoy everything the city has to offer, and particularly the seafront and beach.

Enjoy the city safely

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “We appreciate that our city, seafront and world famous beaches provide a wonderful day out. 

“While we welcome everyone, it’s vital that we all continue to practice physical distancing to enjoy our city safely.
“This means people must respect guidance on keeping their distance, face coverings and good hygiene.

“Many residents do not have an outside space or garden and it’s important that they’re able to access the city’s much-loved seafront safely. With more warm weather on the way, we will continue to monitor the situation.

“Our seafront officers and lifeguards work tirelessly to keep visitors safe, but with eight miles of beach to patrol, it’s important that everyone plays their part. 

“By following a few simple rules, we can all stay safe in the sea, on the beach and promenade and in the city.”

Fewer trains

Anyone travelling to the city needs to be aware that buses and trains are running at reduced capacity.  

Councillor Mac Cafferty added: “If there are concerns about the numbers of people on public transport, we will support any calls not to travel on these routes. This is important both for passengers, staff and residents.”

“It's important that we all take the necessary steps to protect our communities, our families, our friends and ourselves against Covid-19.”

Keeping safe

  • If you arrive at a section of beach that looks full, please walk along to another section so that you can keep a distance from people outside of your household. 
  • Our lifeguard service is operating a limited service this year because of the Covid-19 restrictions. The service runs until 6 September.
  • If you’re going into the sea, please take extra care. The current is strong and the water is not as warm as it looks. 
  • Only swim within the areas patrolled by lifeguards. These are clearly marked with red and yellow flags and swim close to the shore.
  • Never jump off any structure directly into the sea - you can never be sure how deep the water is below.
  • Even on a calm day sea currents, undertow or a sudden change in weather can create life threatening hazards without warning.
  • If using a kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP), ensure they are attached to you by an ankle strap and always wear a proper life vest.
  • If you get into trouble and have your mobile phone, call 999 and ask for the coastguard. 
  • Remember to regularly apply high factor sunscreen and keep hydrated. Cover up or head for the shade during the hottest part of the day.
  • Use the seafront bins or take your litter home with you. Please do not take glass on to the beach. Smashed glass is dangerous and difficult to clean from among the pebbles.

Always stay away from the sea, when you've been drinking. More than a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol and/or drugs in their bloodstream.  

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 staying safe on the beach page.

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