Enjoy your Southend-on-Sea Summer safely

Photo of Southend Marine Activities Centre Open Day

While revelling in the delights of Southend-on-Sea this Summer, residents and visitors are being urged to be beach and barbeque savvy and to remember some important seasonal safety tips too.

Watch out on the water

  • Always keep a look out for the tide’s direction whilst on the beach. Tide timetables are available from Southend Pier Visitor Information centre or look on the internet.
  • Please be aware that you can get cut off on the estuary very quickly, particularly on the mud flats as the tide comes back in suddenly. 
  • Please don’t walk too far out. Many rescues are for people cut off by rising water
  • Look out for slippery rocks, offshore winds and other water users.
  • Footwear is advisable to avoid treading on sharp objects like broken shells or glass which may be hidden in the sand.
  • If you do get into trouble or see someone in need of emergency assistance, please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. 

We have 18 yellow, emergency-only telephones along the seafront and there is a First Aid Post at Leigh Bell Wharf.

If you need non-urgent assistance, Resort Assistants can be found patrolling the beach areas and can give information ranging from Beach Safety to First Aid advice. You can also contact them by calling 01702 618747.

Get SeaSmart Wristbands from the Visitor Information Centre at Southend Pier entrance

Children can get a free water-proof and tear-proof wristband for parents to write their contact details on, should families become separated.

Man-made Hazards (e.g. piers, groynes, harbour walls etc)

  • Do not swim near man-made structures
  • Never run or climb, jump or dive off man-made hazards/structures
  • Take great care when walking on wet or uneven surfaces and look out for sharp objects. Wearing footwear will help
  • Remember to follow all safety signs you see.

Sun Safe

To prevent sunburn, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, make sure to:

  • slip on a shirt (preferably a long-sleeved one)
  • slap on a hat
  • slop on the appropriate sunscreen regularly throughout the day.

Inflatables (e.g. dinghies, rubber-rings etc.)

If you bring an inflatable to the beach you should:

  • make sure that it is secured or held by an adult so it doesn’t drift away.
  • make sure children are within reach at all times.


Barbecue area

Shoebury East Beach is the only beach with a designated barbecue area for use any time during the day. This is first come first served. Please be sure to properly extinguish your barbecue before throwing it away.

Barbecue safety

Think through the following advice whenever and wherever you barbecue:

  • Don’t wash raw chicken
  • Clean surfaces and utensils first with hot water with detergent and then with antibacterial spray - then wipe with disposable paper towel, not cloths
  • Wash hands in hot soapy water after touching raw foods
  • Don’t place cooked foods where raw foods have been
  • Cook poultry and burgers thoroughly all the way through

The vast majority of food poisoning is caused by the bacteria Campylobacter and raw chicken is one of the most common places where “Campy” is found. 

Normally Campylobacter takes between two and five days to produce symptoms of diarrhoea and abdominal pain but these can be severe. Symptoms can also last two to five days or longer.

It only takes a moment to contaminate your food. Campylobacter can be spread easily and just a few bacteria could cause illness.

Thorough cooking kills harmful bacteria but splashing water by washing raw chicken can spread Campy all over your kitchen or your outside preparation surfaces.

Another trendy but dangerous practice is serving undercooked burgers. Although you can sear the outside of a steak or beef joint to make it safe, you must ensure the centre of any poultry or any red meat that has been minced or rolled is cooked to at least 75°C.

It will have been cooked well enough if there is no pinkness in the middle and the juices run clear.

Cllr Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development, said: “With six million visitors a year, and 178,000 residents, Southend has a great deal to offer everyone. We hope these tips will help everyone have a safe sojourn here this summer and for the rest of the year too!”

Cllr Martin Terry, Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Transport, said: “Please take note of the advice given here. Just a little forethought can help families stay safe and well to enjoy summer to the full. We would also urge all our visitors and residents to do their best to help us keep our beaches as clean as possible for everyone by taking their litter home with them, particularly items which can be dangerous such as glass.”

For more advice, please visit: www.food.gov.uk or: http://www.southend.gov.uk/campylobacter

Page last updated: 16/07/2015