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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Britons camp overnight to secure beach spot on third day of heatwave

Brits flocked to the beach today to enjoy the third day of the sunny weather, with some even camping overnight to make sure they got a good sunbathing spot.
Beaches and beauty spots were packed out again on Sunday, as temperatures in some parts of southern England rose to 35C.

Huge queues of cars were pictured heading towards Bournemouth beach and Camber Sands in East Sussex, despite warnings on Friday telling sunbathers to keep away amid fears of further spreading coronavirus.

But some were so keen to get a prime spot on the sand that they camped overnight in tents and cars along the sea front in Bournemouth. Many sunbathers who showed up after lunchtime struggled to get a parking spot, with parks filling up early in the day.

Some ditched their cars all together and decided to sleep under the stars to secure their spot.

Local resident, Kara-Jade Haywood, who headed out early to watch the sunrise, said: ‘Every car in the car park had people sleeping in it and the beach was basically a camp site.

‘Some people were just sleeping on the sand. The car park was full at 5am with people sleeping in cars and the free parking at the cliff top was already rammed with cars. Some were even sleeping on the grass hill.

‘I know people say it’s great for the economy as they are staying in the UK, but not if they are not paying for accommodation and we are paying to clean the crap up when they leave.

'There was rubbish and barbecues everywhere. As we were leaving at 6.30am so many people were showing up.’

By 1pm on Sunday, several of the area’s beaches were already on a red alert, meaning safe social distancing was no longer possible, including Sandbanks, Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Avon Beach and Mudeford Sandspit.

But the heatwave weekend has led to coastguards grappling with an increase in emergencies across the country, including a woman who died in a jet ski crash today in North Wales.

A 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in broad daylight by a man, in his 40s, on a beach in Weymouth, Dorset. In Southend, a youngster had to be rescued from a dinghy and rushed to hospital by air ambulance after suffering with hypothermia.

HM Coastguard said it dealt with 340 individual incidents across the UK on Saturday – its highest amount of call-outs in a single day for well over four years.

The incidents included people being cut off by the tide and children swept out to sea on inflatables. In total the service rescued 146 people and assisted a further 371 people.

On Saturday all but four of Dorset’s beaches were on a red alert, as about 100,000 people flocked to the beaches of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

A spokesman for BCP Tourism said the rangers have had a busy weekend dealing with incidents across the seafront on Friday and Saturday.

She said the rangers can ask people camping to leave but do not actually have powers to remove them. It is down to police to enforce the rules against camping on a public beach.

Local councils in beauty spots across the country have urged people to take their litter home with them.

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