These are the first pictures of some of the swimmers who died at Camber Sands beach yesterday.
Nitharsan Ravi, 22, Inthushan Sri and brothers Kobi and Ken Nathan have been identified by friends as four of the five men who were pulled from the sea at the Sussex beach.
The identities of the victims comes as rescuers say they believe the men died because they did not realise how quick the tide would come in.
The men – who have been friends since the age of five – are thought to have fallen into deep channels of water called sandbars.
Nitharsan’s brother Ajirthan Ravi, today claimed all five could have been saved if there was a lifeguard on duty.
He said Nitharsan had travelled with his four childhood friends because they had heard it was the hottest day of the year.
He paid tribute to his hardworking and talented brother who was loved by everyone.
The group of five friends, who had not visited the beach before, had gone swimming but ran out of stamina due to the strong tides.
Ajirthan said: “The five of them went in the car yesterday to Camber Sands on a day trip because they knew it was supposed to be one of the hottest days of the year.
“They hadn’t been before.
“My brother could swim just like the rest of them could but because of the strong tide it wore them off easily.
“They drowned because of a lack of stamina from the tidal effect.”
He added: “The boys all knew each other since the age of five when they all met playing tabla drums together.
“A five minutes delay caused this death toll I recommend there to be a reliable lifeguard.
“A lifeguard could have saved their lives.”
Nitharsan drove the group down to the East Sussex beach in his silver VW Golf GTI, which was later found by police parked where they had left it outside the beach.
His father told the Evening Standard from the family home in Woolwich, south London, that he was too upset to comment on his son’s death.
Friend Jackson Bosco paid tribute on Facebook, saying: “Can’t believe to hear the news that you were one of the boys at Camber Sands.
“You were truly a good person with a good heart. You are going to be missed on this earth.”
On Nitharsan’s Facebook page, it says he is a student at the University of Brighton.
Friends of Inthushan Sri have been changing their Facebook profiles to pictures of his face.
One friend wrote: RIP. Miss you.”
Lanz Theivendram posted a picture of Kobi Nathan and Inthushan on Facebook, writing that he was feeling heartbroken.
Along with a picture of Kobi, he wrote: Can’t believe the fact you two are no more here.
“It really hurts as I can not digest the fact that you two have left us. RIP to you and those who have passed away with you.”
The victims were all from London, in their late teens and 20s and had visited the popular Sussex resort together on a day trip.
Thousands of horrified sunbathers watched as the bodies of three men were lifted from the sea after mystery deaths on the hottest day of the year.
Two more were discovered washed up on the shore by a member of the public at 8pm.
Some witnesses claimed the men had been fully clothed when they were dragged from the water – sparking rumours they may have been migrants.
However today Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly of Sussex Police said: “We believe we now know who the men are and that they came to the beach together for the day.
“We believe they are all in their late teens and early 20s and come from the Greater London area.
“These men were not fully clothed when they were pulled from the sea but wearing clothes appropriate for being at the beach for the day.
“We have no further reports of anyone else missing from Camber and there are no ongoing searches related to this incident.
“This has been an incredibly tragic incident and we are offering their next of kin support at this difficult time and our thoughts are with them.”
Many beachgoers were in tears, as parents tried to shield children from the upsetting sight of the men being recovered.
The deaths brought the UK drowning toll to 12 in the past week.
About 20 miles up the coast in May, 18 Albanians and two Britons were rescued from a boat off Dymchurch, leading to speculation the Camber Sands dead were migrants.
Witnesses described bodies being pulled from the water wearing “shorts and t-shirts” and they did not appear to have any family or friends on the beach with them.
A police spokesman said they could not confirm claims the men were black, in their 20s and fully clothed, but insisted there was nothing to suggest they were migrants.
A Sussex police spokesman said: “We’ve been advised there is currently nothing to suggest the men were migrants.”
He added: Investigations are ongoing.
A student, who did not wish to be named, said: It was horrible – there were so many people crying and families hugging each other.
Rescuers desperately tried to revive the victims for up to half an hour after being called at 2.10pm, following a report of a swimmer in distress.
But soon another person was seen in difficultly at 2.20pm and 15 minutes later a third was brought in – but all three men died at the scene.
The student, of South East London, said his family had been looking forward to visiting the beach as temperatures reached a year-high of 33.9C in Gravesend, Kent.
He added: When we got there, there was a lifeguard truck and air ambulance. It was all very scary.
“While the people were doing CPR on the first two people, another person had to be pulled out of the sea. One of the first two was put into a vehicle and driven away but they used windbreakers to surround the other two people.
After about 40 minutes of doing CPR, a doctor must have turned up because they stopped. There was so much crying.
Another witness, Bella Sanders, 23, said: It was absolutely horrible to see, the day was beautiful and everyone was having so much fun.
“I can’t understand why it happened, the sea was mostly very calm.
But the tide had come in extremely quickly. One minute it came up to my daughter’s mid-thigh then, within two minutes, to her shoulders.
“We left before I could see what happened to them as I couldn’t stop crying but learnt on the way home all three of them had died. I count myself lucky I arrived home today.
Natalja Taylor, 30, visiting with her husband, said police drove up the beach with a loudhailer urging people to stay out of the sea.
She said: They taped off a huge chunk of the beach. It’s pretty scary.
I’m not sure how it happened. We decided not to go into the sea. It wasn’t particularly windy, just a hot, sunny day. There were a lot of people on the beach, particularly for a weekday.
Personal trainer Chris Hawkes said everybody was enjoying a “lovely day” when the rescue helicopters suddenly appeared.
“It was a really good day and everybody seemed relaxed. We then suddenly saw the helicopter come over and land on the beach.”
Another beachgoer claimed police had told her, after the bodies of the three men were recovered, to stay out of the sea because of a rip-tide.
Sussex Police said they did not know whether the men were part of the same group or on their own.
Two lifeboats and a helicopter were combing the water there last night.
A spokesman for the RNLI said: Rye Harbour lifeboat has launched to assist in the search for another person in the water.
“Earlier two bodies were washed up on the beach and found by a member of the public. I don’t have details of their gender or age.
Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly, talking of the earlier triple tragedy, said: This has been incredibly tragic. We are doing all we can to establish identities.
Six people died last weekend when huge waves battered the British coast, including dad-of-three Rudy Bruynius, 33.
He died after getting into trouble in Newquay, Cornwall, with his family on Friday evening.
His daughter Mckayla Bruynius, two, passed away after a four-day battle in hospital yesterday, bringing the total to 12.
Last month, Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz, 19, drowned at Camber Sands.
News Source MirrorNews