Camber Sands: Seven deaths caused by misadventure, coroner concludes

Emergency teams at Camber Sands on 24 August 2016Image copyright
PA / @Tashka4

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Seven people including five friends died at Camber last year

The deaths of seven men who drowned in two separate incidents at a beach in East Sussex last summer were caused by misadventure, a coroner has concluded.

Two men died at Camber Sands in July, followed by five young friends a month later in August.

Following an inquest in Hastings, Coroner Alan Craze said it was “not known” whether deploying lifeguards would have prevented the deaths.

The RNLI had recommended employing lifeguards previously.

Recording his conclusions, Mr Craze said: “The RNLI had recommended, amongst other measures, deploying lifeguards at the beach in 2013 but this had not happened.

“Of course, it is not known whether such a step would have prevented the deaths, but it has now been implemented.”


Kenugen Saththiyanathan, 18, known as Ken, died alongside his brother Kobikanthan Saththiyanathan, 22, known as Kobi, both from Erith, south-east London.

Their three friends who also died were Nitharsan Ravi, 22, from Plumstead, Inthushan Sriskantharasa, 23, from Grays, Essex and Gurushanth Srithavarajah, 27, from Welling.

Two other people had also died there a month earlier.

On 24 July, Mohit Dupar, 36, from Hayes, west London, attempted to reach Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz, 19, after he got into difficulty.

Mr Silva Da Cruz died at the scene. Mr Dupar died in hospital four days later.

The inquest heard the five men were all fit, healthy and competent swimmers but were unaware of “hidden dangers”.

Oceanographer Dr Simon Boxall believed they got into trouble after heading out to a sandbar to play ball a significant distance out at sea, and then got into trouble amid a fast, incoming tide as they tried to head back to shore.

He told the inquest there was insufficient wave activity to build up rip currents at the beach, but there would have been strong currents that would have had a significant impact even on a strong swimmer.

‘Beach patrol staff’

Nine deaths occurred at Camber in the four years from 2012, including the seven last summer.

There were no lifeguards on the beach prior to the seven deaths.

Instead, the area was manned by beach patrol staff whose tasks included reuniting lost children with their parents and dealing with lost property.

The inquest was told that in 2013 the RNLI had offered to deploy lifeguards following a risk assessment after the death of Tanzeela Ajmal, 31, a year earlier, and a number of near misses.

The RNLI also offered to provide lifeguards at Camber in 2009.

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