Volunteers help keep Southend seafront safe

Beach welfare officers have been busy patrolling the Southend shoreline to make sure people have a safe visit to the seafront this summer.

The volunteers are members of Chalkwell Redcaps surf lifesaving club and as well as being able to respond to water based incidents and carry out basic first-aid, they are also trained to deal with missing children, lost property and other minor incidents.

They were trained in protocol and procedures back in February and have been patrolling every weekend and bank holiday since Easter, providing reassurance to residents, day-trippers and holiday makers. They work alongside others in the community safety unit, pier and foreshore team and other contractors to keep Southend-on-Sea safe, clean and tidy.

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety and customer care, said: “We’ve been very lucky that during the pandemic, we’ve had lovely warm weather which does attract people to Southend-on-Sea.

“During Easter when the beach welfare officers started patrols, we were still in lockdown so they have had a gradual easing into our busy summer months.

“I want to thank the beach welfare officers for donating their time to help the Borough, as the scheme will help us manage more minor issues and ease pressure on other services, such as the Community Safety Patrol Team, the coastguard, the ambulance service and Essex Police.”

The beach welfare officers are an additional resource on weekends and bank holiday weekends. They are stationed out of the Jubilee Beach office, near the fountains, at City Beach.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, added: “As a borough with a booming tourist industry, starting recovery from the pandemic, it is great that we have the additional patrols from the beach welfare officers to show our residents and visitors that we take their safety seriously.”

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk