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Camber Sands: Body found and two hospitalised after swimming off Sussex coast

Major emergency search operation finds body of 19-year-old Londoner

Peter Yeung
Monday 25 July 2016 07:16 BST
Helicopters and lifeboats have been dispatched as part of a major search operation
Helicopters and lifeboats have been dispatched as part of a major search operation

A body has been found after a group of swimmers "got into difficulty" while swimming in the sea off Camber Sands beach.

The coastguard had sent out a search team for a missing person in the water but later called it off as part of a rescue operation in East Sussex saw two casualties transferred to hospital.

Julia Gosling, of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, told The Independent: "There is a good chance the swimmer has drowned because they haven't been able to find them under water or across the beach.

"Although survivability is higher in the summer, with the warmer water temperatures, there were definitely a lot of people around to see."

Ms Gosling described the conditions as "choppy" but could not confirm whether there had been a rip tide.

There were unconfirmed reports the swimmers were stung by a swarm of jellyfish, but Ms Gosling said there was "no indication" that this was true.

One person was taken to hospital by helicopter while another was transported by ambulance after the incident, which was first reported at 12:43pm at Camber Sands, the Coastguard said.

Some witnesses appeared to think more people had died. Elizabeth Haworth wrote on Twitter: "At least 2x air ambulance & 2x coastguard heli + 10s of ambulance & police. Sad, sad scenes on #camber beach. At least 2 drownings."

Rescue teams from Dungeness and Rye, Coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and Solent, Rye RNLI lifeboat, beach lifeguards and police are searching for a missing person last seen in the water.

The RNLI said it received a call to launch an initial lifeboat from Rye Harbour at 12:40pm. A spokesman said their three boats were stood down at 4.20pm.

Maritime & Coastguard Agency safety advice:

Swim or bodyboard on a lifeguarded beach if you can and stay within your depth. Swim parallel to the shore. If you get caught in a strong current or rip current try to stay as calm as you can, raise your hand and shout for help. Hold on to your surf or body board if you have one. If you can’t get help, try and swim parallel to the beach until you’re out of trouble then swim to the shore. If you can stand up, wade instead of swimming.

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