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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Lifeguards defend safety measures
Arvind Puri
Arvind Puri was not a strong swimmer
Lifeguards have dismissed criticism of safety measures at a Cornish beach made by the family of a man who drowned while on holiday.

The family of Arvind Puri, 40, from Nottingham, who drowned at Godrevy beach near Hayle on Saturday, said there were only two lifeguards on duty and warnings about strong currents on the beach were inadequate.

But Phil Drew, Penwith District Council's chief lifeguard, said on the day Mr Puri drowned, signs were in place and there were six lifeguards on duty.

He also said red flags were flying.

The accusations of two lifeguards on the beach here is just unfounded
Phil Drew, Penwith District Council's chief lifeguard
Mr Puri was not a strong swimmer and when he went into the water to help two of his sons, he was caught by the current and dragged under.

His family say his death was avoidable.

"There is one thing which isn't very good there," said Nat Puri, Mr Puri's uncle.

"There were only two lifeguards on a very big beach.

"And even people commenting there said they can't patrol the whole of the beach just with two lifeguards."

But Mr Drew says the allegation over lifeguard numbers are incorrect.

"I'd like to offer our condolences, but I have to say that the council, who have a non-statutory duty to provide lifeguards, do so very well and we have a very good record.

'Plenty of signs'

"The accusations of two lifeguards on the beach here is just unfounded.

"There are six lifeguards that work on this beach, two at Godrevy and a further four at Gwithian, which is the other end of this beach."

He also said there were plenty of signs on the beach.

"We have them at every access point we possibly can," he said.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's David George
"It's a very different scene this lunchtime at Godrevy..."



SEE ALSO:
Beach dangers 'not spelled out'
26 Aug 03  |  Cornwall
Father dies trying to help children
24 Aug 03  |  Cornwall


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