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Families blame absence of lifeguards as beach deaths are ruled as misadventure

By Tom Pugh

The families of some of the seven men who drowned at a popular beach last summer blamed the absence of lifeguards for their deaths as an inquest ended.

Relatives said they believed their loved ones could have survived had lifeguards been manning Camber Sands, near Rye, East Sussex, when they got into trouble. They said they were disappointed Rother District Council did not take up recommendations by the RNLI in 2009 and 2013 to provide lifeguards there.

Speaking after East Sussex coroner Alan Craze concluded all seven deaths were through misadventure, the families said resignations should now follow at the authority.

Arumukam Saththiyanathan, father of Kenugen (18) and Kobikanthan (22), claimed: "These lives were lost because of the lack of lifeguards. It's very disappointing that they continue to deny this fact, that the lack of lifeguards and the failure to employ lifeguards caused these deaths."

Tragedy first struck as Mohit Dupar (36) tried to reach Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz (19) as he got into difficulty at Camber last July 24, but both died. A month later Kenugen Saththiyanathan and his brother Kobikanthan, both of Erith, and their friends Nitharsan Ravi (22), of Plumstead, Inthushan Sriskantharasa (23), of Essex, and Gurushanth Srithavarajah (27), of Welling, drowned while playing volleyball in the sea.

Mr Craze said it was "not known" whether lifeguards would have prevented the deaths.

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