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Anglers volunteer to patrol Southend's beaches
A GROUP of public-spirited anglers are hoping to set up a beach patrol in Southend after a number of serious incidents this summer.
Adam Fincher, Richard McKenna, Danny McPearson, Gary Hodges and Terry Page are among those who decided to set up a voluntary patrol to advise on the dangers of incoming tides after a rise in the number of swimmers getting into trouble.
The friends are trained in first aid and, being self-employed, are flexible with their time.
They live locally and know the tide times and shoreline well, and are hoping to put their knowledge to good use.
Adam, 30, from Southend, said: “We feel something needs to be done as there is nothing down there at the moment and it gets so busy. It seems every time we go down there we see someone in trouble or about to be cut off.
“We want to act as an advice and warning system to prevent anything happening.
“We don’t want to be heroes, just help out.”
The friends are hoping to recruit another two people so they can run patrols of two volunteers walking in each direction along the beach from Chalkwell to the end of Southend.
Dressed in bright yellow T-shirts with “beach patrol” written on them, they intend to cover a couple of days a week and weekends. They hope to start next month and also aim to be on hand every day in the school holidays, as well as busy periods in the evening.
They have already drafted a proposal letter to the council and hope to get some sponsorship for radios.
Adam added: “Just last week we were along the seafront and watched as two local girls got cut off from the tide and had to wade back to shore.
“I and a fellow fisherman were ready to go and rescue them. Fortunately, they managed to get back by their own means.
“We feel it would not only be beneficial to the public, but will give people a sense of security.”
At the end of the school holidays, two women saved two boys struggling in the water off Chalkwell Beach .
Joanne Corboy and Catherine Osborne helped the 11-year-olds and called for more signs warning swimmers of the dangers.
Derek Jarvis , Southend councillor responsible for culture and tourism, said; “I’ll be interested to hear their proposal. “We’re looking to get as many people to volunteer to help us on as many fronts as possible. “If there is something useful they can bring to the party, wonderful. It seems to be something at least worth listening to.”