Bodies of missing swimmers found

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The Independent Online

The bodies of two swimmers who went missing off Somerset last week have both been found and identified.

Dave Ellams, a chef, and Lee Tompkins, a receptionist, went missing on 23 June after they had been drinking and waded into the sea near Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare.

Two bodies were recovered by lifeboat teams from the River Severn on 30 June.

Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed both bodies were formally identified as Mr Ellams and Mr Tompkins, both from Weston-super-Mare.

More than 50 personnel, an RAF helicopter and lifeboats were sent to the Bristol Channel to find the men last week. The search was called off 24 hours later.

Swansea Coastguard received reports that the men stripped down to their boxer shorts on the beach and went into the water while their girlfriends - Aimee Crisp and Emma Flinders - remained nearby.

Miss Crisp, Mr Ellams' partner, said she felt "numb" after witnessing the two hotel workers being swept away by the powerful tide.

She said: "I don't think it's actually quite sunk in, and it won't sink in until we find the bodies.

"We just decided to go down on to the rocks, just for a few drinks and to have a laugh, and they decided to go out for a swim.

"I turned around and told them not to go out too far and I think the sea was just a bit too much for them."