Enjoy our beaches safely

Make sure you have the best time on our beaches by staying safe.

Before you go

As some of the district's beaches are best enjoyed at low tide and others at high tide, please check tide times before heading to our coastline.


Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you see someone in trouble on the beach or in the sea. Try to keep calm and explain where and what the trouble is, the telephone number of the phone you are using, as well as your name and address.


While swimming might be a good way to cool down during a warm day, it is not advised while under the influence of alcohol.

Alcohol can impair your judgement which may cause you to take unnecessary risks. It also slows down your reaction time making it more difficult to get out of a dangerous situation.

It is important to stay hydrated by drinking water - as well as limit the amount of alcohol you consume - especially during the water months.

Keeping children safe

There are a lot of resources available to help teach children how to stay safe on the beach and along the coastline.

These include those published by the RNLI and Met Office.

We would recommend sitting down with youngsters before your trip to remind them of the basics. This fun music video also shares some safety tips:

Sun safe

There are simple things you can do to reduce the risk of sunburn, heat exhaustion or heat stroke - just slip, slap and slop.

  • Slip on a shirt (preferably a long-sleeved one)
  • Slap on a hat
  • Slop on the appropriate sunscreen regularly throughout the day

Don't tombstone or jump from a height

It is strongly recommended that you do not jump from a height into the sea - especially from cliffs, piers, sea defences and sea walls.

Rocks and objects under the sea may not be visible but you will certainly feel them in you jump onto them. Shallow water also poses a danger to those jumping.


BBQs are banned from the Lower Leas Coastal Park.

While you are welcome to have small BBQs on our quieter beaches, please make sure they have cooled down completely before putting them in our bins.

Keep BBQs away from any structures, trees and shrubs - and do not use disposable BBQs on public benches or other furniture.

Kent Fire and Rescue has published barbecue safety advice on its website.

Keep our beaches tidy

When visiting the beach, make sure you take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints.

Make sure you have bags with you take home any rubbish from the beach. This is the easiest way to stop rubbish making its way into the sea.

Report a full litter bin if you see one.

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs produces the Countryside Code, providing general information for enjoying the great outdoors, a lot of which is applicable to our beaches.

Safely using a watercraft (including jet skis and boats)

Please be aware if you are operating a watercraft there is a byelaw in place for safety which you must follow.  

  • The byelaw is in force in a seaward area 200m from the low tide line.
  • Within 200m of the low tide line watercraft users cannot travel at speeds exceeding eight nautical miles.
  • Watercraft should not be driven or sailed dangerously and with due care and attention of other persons.
  • Watercraft engines should be fitted with appropriate noise silencing exhausts.

Read the Seaside Pleasure Boats byelaw.