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RNLI water safety warning after number of deaths on Kent's coast triples

By KentOnline reporter

People are being warned to treat the water with respect after the number of deaths on Kent's coastline almost tripled last year.

There were a total of 11 fatalities on the county's shores in 2015, compared to four the previous year.

They include Nicholas Warren, 58, who died in the water at Kingsdown in December after trying to rescue his six month-old dog.

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Wreaths near the scene at Oldstairs Bay, Kingsdown where a Nicholas Warren died in the sea while trying to save his dog. Picture: Chris Davey

The death toll rose further the following month, when nine-year-old Connor McDonald was swept out to sea after falling in the water at Dymchurch.

The figures - released today by the RNLI - also reveal a number of near-fatal accidents, with lifeboat crews saving dozens of lives.

Just this week, a group of 34 children and two adults were rescued after getting cut off by the tide on a coastal walk near Dover.

The RNLI is aiming to halve accidental coastal deaths by 2024 through its Respect the Water campaign.

Connor McDonald, who lost his life after falling into the sea

The charity hopes to raise awareness of the dangers of cold water, slips and falls, rip currents and waves.

It is mainly targeted at adult men, who account for the most sea fatalities - 81% in the south east.

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