More open water swimmers at Eastbourne than ever before, so what happened to the safety buoys?

Swimmers on Eastbourne beach. July 8th 2013 E28174P ENGSUS00120130907113512
Swimmers on Eastbourne beach. July 8th 2013 E28174P ENGSUS00120130907113512

From: Colin Tallowin

Rattle Road

With the support of MP Stephen Lloyd and others the swimming area designated by yellow buoys was extended a couple of years ago to not only include the area west of the pier to the lifeguard beach but also from the pier eastward to the beach opposite the Langham Hotel.

Part of the reason for the eastward extension was in recognition of the danger to swimmers of jet skis and other power boats which tend to come from the direction of the harbour.

Swimmers have also felt threatened on occasions by sailing dinghies when they tack in close to shore.

Over the last few years open water swimming has become more and more popular and in Eastbourne there are at least three groups of regular swimmers who use the length of the designated area, some of whom swim every week of the year.

It was the recognition of these real and perceived risks to swimmers that the yellow buoys were put in place in a line about the pier’s length from the beach.

Although some buoys to the east of the pier were also lost last year they all (on the east side) seemed to have gone this year.

As the buoys on the west side seemed to have survived my inclination is to put the loss down to theft or vandalism rather than stormy seas.

The current lack of buoys means that even the considerate jet ski/power boat uses are not reminded of the presence of swimmers so increasing the risk to those swimmers as well as their replacement incurring a significant cost.