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Beach and water safety

Find out about beach and water safety in our area.

We ensure people using our beaches and coast do so safely and responsibly for the enjoyment of all.

We want you to enjoy your time at the beach, but it can be a dangerous place. Each year the lifeguards attend hundreds of incidents, just because people ignore safety information, or don’t take the right precautions.

We have byelaws in operation between 1 May and 30 September to regulate the use of pleasure craft along our district coastlines. Information notices are displayed along the beach areas where the byelaws apply.

Beaches in Seaford, Newhaven and East Saltdean are zoned with a series of yellow marker buoys to create protected areas for bathers safe from boats, yachts, jet skis, sailboards, kite surfers and other craft.

Seaford lifeguards are authorised to act in the enforcement of these byelaws. They carry out both sea and beach patrols at Seaford each weekend during the summer months.

Incidents of boat owners operating contrary to the byelaws can be reported. Note any identifying name or number on the vessel and report the matter to us or the lifeguard headquarters at the Salts recreation ground in Seaford.

Any boat or watercraft user who is acting dangerously or operating within a restricted area will be advised accordingly. Anyone who fails to obey safety instructions may face formal action.

The sandy beach at Newhaven Harbour entrance is under the control of the Harbour Authority whose own speed restriction rules apply.

We recommend you download our beach safety leaflet below, this will give you good safety advice, including be safe in the sun.

Lifeguards

The Lifeguards operate on the main resort beach from May 1 to September 30. They are trained in first aid, rescue methods, life support, spinal management, weather meteorology, boat handling and regularly undergo fitness training.

The lifeguards also operate the Kidzsafe wristband system, which prevents kids getting lost on the beach. Wristbands are completely free from the Lifeguard and First Aid Post and the Seafront Office.

Tyro Lifeguard courses

These run throughout August at the Lifeguard Station on the seafront. Sessions are run by our qualified and experienced team and include personal survival, beach rescue skills, essential beach safety and being safe in the sun. 

Requirements

  • Your child must be able to swim 100 metres unaided
  • Your must be between 8-14 years of age

There are four levels, one level per each three hour session. To book, call the Seafront Office on 01323 410611. For more information, dates and prices download the leaflet below.

Kids' safety packs and Kidzsafe wristband scheme

Eastbourne’s lifeguards help kids stay safe in the summer sun by handing out free kids beach safety packs. These have everything needed to be safe on Eastbourne’s beaches.

The packs include a sachet of Boots high factor children’s sun-cream, a brightly coloured waterproof wristband and a children’s beach safety activity sheet and crayons. The wristband has a space for a mobile number, so that the lifeguards can easily contact the parents in case of the child being separated from them. These packs can be obtained from the Seafront Office or through the VisitEastbourne e-Shop.

Eastbourne's sun safety campaign was featured live on GMTV. Also BBC Breakfast featured the Kidzsafe wristband scheme in May 2008.