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Warning after family swept out to sea
12:00pm Thursday 22nd May 2014 in News
SEASIDE visitors are being urged to take extra care this summer.
The warning comes from the RNLI after a family of three were swept out to sea.
A father and his two children got into difficulties near the undercliff sea defences at Peacehaven.
The ten-year-old boy was using a child’s kayak and was being followed by his dad and eight-year-old sister in a yellow inflatable when they were pulled out to sea by a strong current.
All three were wearing life-jackets but were unable to get back to land.
The RNLI Newhaven lifeboat was called out to search the area during the incident last Saturday after- noon and brought the threesome on board.
They were given refreshments before being dropped off near the beach into the care of the Newhaven Coast- guard.
Lifeboat second Coxswain Lee Blacknell said: “When children are using such watercraft, it is worth keeping a line attached from the shore as they can be easily swept out by the strong cur- rents.”
Millions of people are expected to visit the Sussex coast this year with many taking advantage of the swimming, surfing and yachting on offer.
Lifeboat crews and coastguards are expecting a busy summer and Newhaven RNLI spokesman Alan Novis said it was vital people were vigilant.
He said: “We would advise people to speak to lifeguards on duty and read the warning signs so they have an understanding of the area.
“The strong currents and tides can make things deceptive and people can find themselves getting into trouble.
“I would also remind people that despite the weather, the actual sea temperature is still very cold so anyone who decides to jump into the water may get a shock when they hit the water.
“The instinctive reaction would be a sharp intake of breath but if you are under water then that can led to serious problems.”
Other warnings include keeping away from the edge of cliffs, do not drink and swim and do not let children use inflatable dinghies without supervision.
Boat owners are also advised to check their equipment after the winter, particularly fuel, and to wear life-jackets.
They should also tell someone on land what route they are planning to take when they go out to sea and when they intend to return.
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