‘Secret stones’ placed on Eastbourne seafront

Children are being urged to keep their eyes peeled for secret stones that have been placed along Eastbourne seafront by the fire service.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 5:03 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 11:44 am

The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) has placed pebbles painted with water warnings in support of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Be Water Aware campaign, which runs from April 26 to May 2.

A spokesperson for the ESFRS said, “As the current Covid-19 restrictions ease, it is anticipated many people will head to coastal locations and inland water beauty spots.

“Few people would think they might become a water incident statistic but the fact is in the UK in 2019, more people died from accidental drowning than cyclists did on the road.”

Some of the secret stones the fire service has left on Eastbourne Beach. SUS-210429-163526001

Eastbourne Community Fire Station manager Vinny O’Neill said, “As the weather warms up and holidays approach, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are spreading the word about water safety.

“Drownings can happen quickly and without warning and can have a devastating impact.

“To highlight this issue, secret stones are being placed along Eastbourne Seafront to encourage everyone to be ‘water savvy’ when exploring the coastline this spring and summer.

“For more information check out our ‘water safety and drowning prevention’ page at www.esfrs.org.”

One of the secret stones left by the fire service on Eastbourne Beach. SUS-210429-164054001

The service has asked for anyone who spots a secret stone to take a photo and share it on their social media accounts on Twitter, @EastSussexFRS, or on Facebook.

The fire service is also encouraging people to make their own designs.

In regards to water safety tips the fire service advise people to swim with others so they can help if you need it, to limit alcohol consumption around water, to supervise children and to stay calm if you find yourself unexpectedly in water.

A spokesperson for the fire service said, “If you see someone in trouble, stay out of the water and call 999 and ask for the fire service if inland and the Coastguard if you are at the coast.”