Body recovered from car in harbour

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The Independent Online

The body of an elderly man has been recovered from a car that plunged into the sea at a popular seaside resort.

Emergency workers launched a rescue operation just moments after witnesses saw the vehicle smash through railings at Southwold seafront in Suffolk at about 3pm yesterday.

Police initially believed two people were in the car, which filled quickly with water and sunk, but said only the man, believed to be in his 80s and from the local area, was found inside.

Specialist divers from the Metropolitan Police and a crane were used to pull the vehicle from the water late last night.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman said: "A vehicle has been recovered from the harbour of Southwold and the body of a man was found inside.

"At this stage it is believed he was the only occupant. All the doors of the vehicle were secure and it is not thought there was any one else in the car at the time it went into the harbour.

"Initial indications are that the man was maybe in his 80s and from the local area."

Formal identification of the victim is yet to take place, the spokeswoman added.

An investigation has been launched but police are not treating the incident as suspicious.

The car entered the water at speed near a lifeboat station and cafe, according to witnesses.

"The lifeboat, because of its proximity, was there very quickly, within a few moments, and was there prior to the vehicle being completely submerged, which then meant they started their rescue operation to try and get anyone out of the vehicle," added the force spokeswoman.

"A least one witness account reported the vehicle travelling at speed when it went in."

East of England Ambulance Service confirmed it sent a hazardous area response team, two land ambulances, and the air ambulance to the scene.

Police later said the man was aged 89 and from east Suffolk.

A spokeswoman said he is likely to be identified later today and that an inquest will be held in due course. PA