Coastguard calls off search after dinghy found empty

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The Independent Online
An air-and-sea search off the Lincolnshire coast was abandoned last night hours after an inflatable dinghy was seen drifting out to sea from a holiday beach. A Coastguard spokesman said they were searching for a 25-year-old man reported missing off Chapel St Leonards. After six hours searchers saw the dinghy miles out to sea, and it was clearly empty. "One of the lifeboats spotted the inflatable tumbling over and over in the swell, and it obviously had no one in it or around it," he said.

Meanwhile, inquests were opened and adjourned yesterday on two holidaymakers who died in sea tragedies in the West Country earlier this week. A post- mortem examination revealed that Martin Anderson, 32, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, drowned after being swept into the sea at Porthleven, west Cornwall. Robert Needham, of North Finchley, north London was recovered from the sea after getting into difficulties while swimming at West Bexington, Dorset, on Thursday, but was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.