Viva Brighton Issue #64 June 2018

VivaMagazines

FEATURE

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Brighton Beach Patrol

Seaside samaritans

“My cousin Kevin came

up with the idea of the

Beach Patrol in 2015;

we’re both quite passionate

about preventing

deaths from drink drowning.”

So says Louise Roberts,

as she tells me about

the origins of this family

affair with Kevin Roberts,

the Managing Director of

Resolve Security, which

patrols many of the seafront pubs and clubs.

“Resolve donated the quad bike, first-aid kit and

training. Sussex Heart Foundation kindly donated

a defibrillator. But I soon realised that it’s not just

about keeping people out of the sea when they’re

intoxicated; it’s about giving people support and a

chat with a mum figure.”

If Louise tracked me down on her quad bike and

told me going in the sea was a bad idea, I’d be putting

my clothes back on sharpish. But apparently

this isn’t always the case. What does she say to

someone who’s already in their pants?

“Typically, I’ll go down and say, ‘Hey guys, why are

you getting undressed?’” she replies with characteristic

nonchalance. “I just engage with them and,

without dictating, give them the facts about going

into the water – even if it’s a really calm sea. Many

tell me they used to be a lifeguard, that they’re a

good swimmer – which, they probably are – but not

at 3am when they’re drunk. If they ignore me, I’ll

stay till they’re safe.”

The now three-strong crew patrols the Lower

Promenade – between the Pier and the i360 –

every Friday and Saturday night from 11pm-5am,

and they’re linked into support crews from HM

Shoreham Coastguard, the RNLI and Sussex

Police. But the Beach

Patrol is often the first to

highlight any problems. At

the risk of sounding stupid,

I ask ‘why is it worse to get

in the water when you’re

drunk?’

“On a normal day, the sea

temperature is quite low.

Our body reacts by looking

after our vital organs and,

when drinking, our coordination

isn’t as good. There’s very little time to react

to cold water shock.”

But, Louise and her team do much more than

warn off revellers – the Beach Patrol makes a huge

difference to the most vulnerable people in our

community. “We’ve found lots of missing people

and helped with many first-aid incidents. We work

closely with the Brighton Seafront Office to prevent

fires on the beach, and just by our presence

in the area, we’ve lowered the incidence of sexual

assault crimes on the Lower Promenade, as well

as robberies.”

It’s fantastic that the team’s dedication has helped to

reduce dangerous behaviour on the beach but I’m

surprised to learn that the patrol is voluntary. Here,

the formidable coastguard and prison officer is

reflective. “We’d love funding, to get more people

trained up, another quad bike. Simon Walker and

the Laines Pub Company very generously donate

monthly. But I honestly can’t put a cost on what the

patrol covers – and the vast area. There’s no money

in the world that could give me the satisfaction you

get when you help someone in a crisis.” Amy Holtz

For more information about Brighton Beach Patrol –

or to support them – contact Louise at

admin@resolvesecurity.co.uk

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