Camber Sands Funerals

4 September 2016, 09:25 | Updated: 4 September 2016, 09:31

The funerals have taken place of the five young friends who died during a day trip to Camber Sands last month.

The four-hour Hindu ceremony was held in marquees erected on Plumstead Common in south-east London.

Some three thousand friends and family queued to pay their respects and cover the bodies with petals. The coffins were then taken away for a private cremation.

The five included two brothers, Kenugen Saththiyanathan, 18, and Kobikanthan Saththiyanathan, 22, both from Normandy Way, Erith.

Their friends Nitharsan Ravi, 22, of Admaston Road, Plumstead, Inthushan Sriskantharasa, 23, of Chadwell Road, Grays, and Gurushanth Srithavarajah, 27, of Elsa Road, Welling, also died.

The five were on a sandbar when the time came in quickly and cut them off.

There were no lifeguards on the beach. Some relatives have previously criticised the lack of lifeguards at Camber and suggested they may have stood a chance of survival if the beach had been manned.

At the funeral one relative told Heart: "Their deaths could have been prevented if there was a lifeguard presence and if there was more information on beach safety like what to do when a rip-tide happens. Another relative said: "if there were 25,000 people on the beach that day, that's 25,000 people that were put at risk. We don't want this ever to happen to any other family in the UK."

Following the deaths, Rother District Council drafted in temporary lifeguards to cover the August Bank Holiday. This was then extened to the end of the school holidays. The council has not yet said whether Camber Sands will be staffed next summer.

The MP for Eltham Clifford Efford spoke briefly at the funeral. He said: "Questions need to be asked about how we arrange safety on our beaches"