THE grandmother of a teenager who drowned after getting into difficultly while swimming has backed calls for children to be taught about the dangers of the sea.

Ben Quartermaine, 15, from Clacton, died in the water to the east of Clacton Pier on July 26 after getting into trouble while swimming with friend Albert Caller.

A mother and her daughter were rescued from the same waters just a week later, prompting calls for a risk assessment to be carried out for the bathing waters.

Clacton councillor Andrew Pemberton put forward a motion at a meeting of Tendring Council calling on the authority to offer swimming lessons to every school child in Clacton.

During the lessons, children would be taught how to deal with a rip tide or strong current.

Sue Barnard, Ben’s grandmother, said she backed the idea.

“Something should be done in schools to warn children about the dangers of the water, when the tide is out especially,” she said.

“There are no warnings on the front or next to the pier.

“Free swimming lessons should be made available to all children of school age.”

Mr Pemberton’s motion was forwarded to the council’s Cabinet for its recommendation before it will return to the full council for debate.

Despite swimming lessons being included as part of the national curriculum, Mr Pemberton’s motion called for the authority to offer up to six free swimming lessons every year for all children under the age of 15 years at at Clacton Leisure Centre and other venues,

He said the move is needed to teach children to cope with a rip tide or strong current, swim or float fully clothed and learn basic life-saving.

Tendring Council has already announced that a multi-agency review of seafront safety will take place.

It added it was important not to make a “knee-jerk response” to the tragic incident.