Petition for lifeguard station at Clacton Pier after 15-year-old's death
PUBLISHED: 17:31 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:31 31 July 2018
A community reeling from the death of a 15-year-old boy who was swept out to sea have rallied together to sign a petition for a new lifeguard facility.
More than 1,000 people have put their name to an online campaign calling for a lifeguard shack to be placed at the end of Clacton Pier.
The petition – which has collected 1,360 signatures in just 24 hours – follows a tragedy in the town this weekend.
Police called off a major search for teenager Ben Quartermaine, who died after he got into difficulty near the pier.
His family paid tribute to the 15-year-old, saying he was a “happy” and “loving” boy.
“Recent events have been tragic and heartbreaking,” the online petition states.
“I think they [local government] should fund a small lifeguard shack on the end of the pier.
“Nothing too major, but there should be a permanent lifeguard presence – even if it’s just one guard at a time.
It adds: “They [our emergency services] acted exceptionally.
“But I believe this is a course of action that could prevent this happening again.”
Nigel Brown, communications manager at Clacton Pier, said the organiser of the petition had contacted the facility directly about his idea – and has been offered a meeting to discuss it.
“It is not something we can say a simple yes or no to without consulting with others – such as the RNLI, Coastguard and Tendring council, who already provide a lifeguard station just a matter of yards from the pier on the Lower Promenade above West Beach,” he added.
“It is an idea that would need careful consideration and it may be that the pier would not be the ideal location due to tides and other factors.”
A spokesman for Tendring District Council (TDC) said it is important the inquest into Mr Quartermaine’s death is held as soon as possible, adding that as a council they would listen carefully to the findings.
“We would work with the pier if it was decided that a lifeguard station was set up at the end of the pier – but it must be remembered that the pier is not owned or managed by TDC,” they added.
“It is important that any decisions taken in light of this tragic event are made on an informed basis.”
See here to view the petition.