The volunteer lifeboat crew at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station were kept busy as the heatwave hit Rye Bay at the weekend.
During the course of the day, there were two changes of crew and 17 incidents attended in total, including searching for nine missing children and more than 10 inflatables.All the children were subsequently found safe on dry land (a useful tip, by the way; if children wander, they usually keep their backs to the sun so that's always the first direction to try). You'd have thought, though, that given the large number of people there, parents would have been ultra-vigilant:
At 12.30pm there were more than 25,000 people on Camber Sands with still more people arriving.Sounds awful! Somehow, I'm irresistibly reminded of this:
'Now that all the seals and their wives were on the land, you could hear their clamour miles out to sea above the loudest gales. At the lowest counting there were over a million seals on the beach – old seals, mother seals, tiny babies and holluschickie, fighting, scuffling, bleating, crawling, and playing together – going down to the sea and coming up from it in gangs and regiments, lying over every foot of ground as far as the eye could reach...'
Rudyard Kipling: 'The White Seal' from 'The Jungle Book' (if you thought it was all singing bears and monkeys, take a look!)We've described elsewhere how infant reins seem to have vanished from popular culture in recent years and free-range toddlers are common in our town centres and shopping malls, so perhaps it's natural that today's children are in the habit of wandering off.
But what is it about the good folk of Sussex that such a large number of them fail to keep count of their offspring in such a crowd or, alternatively, set them adrift in a strong wind?