Ian Payne 10pm - 1am
Mass brawl breaks out between sunbathers on packed Kent beach
26 May 2020, 19:12
A mass brawl erupted on a Kent beach as thousands flocked to the seaside during the hot bank holiday weather.
Police were scrambled to Viking Bay, in Broadstairs, on Monday as tempers frayed and punches were thrown.
Beaches across England were packed with crowds over the weekend, with the Met Office confirming temperatures rose to 26C in some areas.
Sunseekers were left stunned as the large fight broke out at about 4pm, with a video posted on social media showing over a dozen people joining the melee.
The two-minute footage shows a group of around half a dozen men approaching another group on the sand before walking away.
A man then storms over to the group and begins shouting before punches are thrown.
One man in a red T-shirt who had been observing the fight is then seen being attacked by two men and falling to the ground.
Witnesses reported seeing one person trying to break-up the disturbance when calls to follow social distancing rules were ignored, Kent Online reports.
Kent Police confirmed it attended but said no arrests were made.
A force spokesperson told LBC News: “Kent Police was called at 4.15pm on Monday 25 May 2020 to a report of an assault on Viking Bay beach in Broadstairs.
“A man was reportedly punched during an argument between two groups of people. No serious injuries were reported.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/88034/20, or call Crimestoppers anonymously.
Thousands of visitors flooded beaches in England over the weekend despite pleas from tourism bosses for them to stay away.
On the Dorset coast, where beaches were seen packed amid allegations some families were not following social distancing, Bournemouth council said seafront car parks were overflowing.
Similar crowded scenes were pictured at Southend beach, in Essex, as well as Brighton seafront and Ruislip Lido in London amid the sunny weather.
Forecasters predict the lockdown heatwave will continue throughout this week and the mercury could climb to 28C at the weekend.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson relaxed lockdown rules earlier this month allowing daytrippers in England to travel to beauty spots as long as they socially distance.
But rescue charity RNLI, whose lifeguards patrol 240 beaches in the UK, has written to Mr Johnson calling for “restricted access” to beaches after saying the new rules put them in an “impossible situation”.