A 24 year old London man on a day trip to Brighton with friends went missing whilst swimming near West Pier, Brighton today. After a massive search and rescue operation by the coastguard helicopter, RNLI lifeboats and fishing vessels lasting several hours he was sadly found drowned.
It can happen in the blink of an eye - someone swimming gets into trouble and sinks. Whilst no one was in the water I was talking to Alexa on Hove beach today about the problems of a single life guard manning a huge area. If a member of the public needs to ask a question or requires first aid that slight distraction could be fatal for a swimmer who gets into trouble. But the lifeguards still do a terrific job, and it tends to be poor judgement or just plain bad luck that gets swimmers into difficulty.
In calm conditions like today people sadly do get into difficulties, and it is sometimes said that it is easier to drown when the beach is crowded than when there aren't so many people around. Please, take care in and around the water. The sun may be out but one poor young man will never see it rise again. My heart goes out to his friends and family, and to the search and rescue teams who worked so hard in vain.
© Julia Claxton Photography