Published: 13:54, 08 August 2020
| Updated: 15:05, 08 August 2020
A call has been made to review a policy setting out swimming rules over social distancing concerns.
Today, crowds are packing popular Thanet beach Joss Bay as the mini-heatwave continues to roast the country.
However, swimmers are urged by lifeguards to swim only within two markers on the shoreline.
Phil Allen believes this could create an environment where social distancing is unfeasible.
Speaking on the beach, he said: "There's a lifeguard saying all the people need to swim between the yellow and red flags and the crafts between the black and white ones.
"The marked area is so small given the number of people, so that social distancing is impossible.
"He's sitting there telling people to crowd together in one area – come on Thanet District Council, get your act together."
The RNLI website says the yellow and red flags indicate the zone is a "Lifeguarded area. Safest area to swim, bodyboard and use inflatables."
Meanwhile black and white chequered flags show the area "For surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft. Launch and recovery area for kitesurfers and windsurfers. Never swim or bodyboard here."
It's important to heed warnings, as rip currents, tides and waves can be very dangerous.
The RNLI recommends not using inflatables – as they can sweep you out to sea – and says: "Just be aware that sea swimming can be more challenging than the pool so before you start a watersport it’s worth jumping in between the red and yellow beach flags and familiarising yourself with the conditions."
This is the second balmy day in a row, after yesterday being one of the hottest British days on record.
As Manston experienced the sunniest day of anywhere in the UK, Thanet's beaches were packed including Joss Bay.
The owner of a surf school on the beach said it was "chaos", but had fully booked lessons for the day.
He also said it had been difficult for qualified lifeguards to deal with the massive number of people making the trip to the Thanet beach.
Thanet District Council today put out a tweet, calling on people to visit less crowded parts of the region's coastline.
It read: "#BotanyBay in #Broadstairs and #Margate beach are extremely busy due to the #heatwave.
"High tide at both beaches will make #SocialDistancing difficult.
"We have 19 miles of coastline, so consider all the places you could visit or come back when it's quieter."
At just after 1.30pm, it tweeted: "#Ramsgate Main Sands is now extremely busy due to the #heatwave. High tide is at approx 15.20pm which will make #SocialDistancing difficult. We have 19 miles of coastline, so consider all the places you could visit or come back when it's quieter @VisitThanet."
When asked about the use of markers, Thanet District Council referred our query to the RNLI.
A spokesman said: "The lifeguard will be asking beach goers to swim between two markers as lifeguards know their beaches and how much can be covered.
"The size of the space sectioned off by the markers is informed by how quickly a lifeguard would be able to reach a person in danger.
"It may seem like a small space, but the placement of the markers changes all the time according to the tide and conditions. Areas that look very safe from a distance could actually contain hidden dangers such as rip currents.
"If your readers want any further information about staying safe at the beach they can visit www.rnli.org/safety"