Video warns about the dangers of the sea in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 06 Jul 2015 at 3:52 am

A YouTube video gives a graphic warning about the dangers of the sea in Brighton and Hove.

The first of three short films focuses on one of three high-risk types of people who are most at risk on the beach – small children.

They are unaware of the dangers but have a fascination with the sea and beach, according to Brighton and Hove City Council, which commissioned the films.

The other two groups targeted by the educational films are children and teenagers playing chicken when the sea is rough, the waves are big and strong winds are blowing.

The fun and thrill of the game can turn to tragedy within seconds, the council said.

The third at-risk group are people who have been drinking, especially those in the 18 to 25 age range.

The council said: “The mix of alcohol and sea swimming is the most deadly of cocktails with cold water acting as a shock to the system.

“The shock can be the precursor to drowning. Anything below 15C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement.

“Brighton’s reputation as a party city along with day and night-time drinking also creates the additional hazard of seafront users entering the water after consuming alcohol.

“This is one of the biggest factors when we look at drowning incidents across the UK, especially within the male age group from 18 to 25 years old.”

Councillor Alan Robins

Councillor Alan Robins

When the first film was uploaded to YouTube last week, three people had already died in the sea in Brighton this year.

A fourth man died after being rescued from the sea on Saturday (4 July) and resuscitated.

The council’s Public Health Team commissioned the films to educate the public as the busy summer season gets under way.

The council said: “The city’s beaches are very different from others along the British coast as they have steep shingle that makes entering and exiting hazardous.

“Brighton and Hove’s coastline is also exposed to wind and waves from the south east, south and south west and this can create extremely dangerous wave conditions on the shoreline.

“When this is combined with steep shingle banks, those close to the water’s edge are in danger of being swept out into powerful sea conditions, with little chance of making it back on to dry land.

“The hard-hitting films tackle the three most common causes and target ‘high risk’ groups identified by Brighton and Hove City Council’s seafront team.

“Those are people getting into trouble after consuming drink or drugs, playing games such as ‘chicken’ to dare friends to jump into the water as well as small children whose parents may not appreciate how quickly children or toddlers can get dragged under water.”

The first film is about the risk of toddlers and young children drowning. The council said: “If these children are not well supervised by parents/carers they can soon wander close to the water’s edge and be swept out by the most innocent of waves.

“This film aims to alert parents/carers to remain close to and supervise their children at all times.”

The deputy chairman of the council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee, Alan Robins, said: “Every death is a tragedy so it’s right that we do everything we can to educate those high-risk groups about the dangers of our beaches.

“We have beaches that have lifeguards during key times but it’s not possible to cover every inch around the clock all year round so we have to take a more proactive approach.

“We have to communicate with people where they get their information and entertainment so these films are hard-hitting and distributed through YouTube so we hope people will share them across Facebook and Twitter.

“Brighton and Hove has an enviable reputation as a seaside resort loved by millions each year.

“Whether it’s a local young resident, a visiting hen or stag party or a family with toddlers visiting on a bank holiday from London, we want everyone to have a fantastic and safe time on our beaches.”

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