Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Bodies of two friends are found off Brighton



The bodies of two friends have been pulled from the sea off the coast of Brighton.

A huge search and rescue operation was launched on Monday after an inflatable dinghy was seen drifting out at sea early in the afternoon.

The worrying discovering prompted lifeboats and coastguard to spend nine hours scouring the waters on Monday and searches resumed on Tuesday morning.

The body of a man was recovered from the English Channel just after 5pm on Monday, police said.

He has not yet been identified but he is believed to be linked to the unoccupied green dinghy. 

Police said the dinghy contained 'some personal effects' appearing to belong to someone living in Sussex.

As police sought to establish his identity it became apparent that his friend was also missing.
 

Emergency searches continued on Monday evening until 11pm and resumed on Tuesday morning at 6am.

About 8.45am on Tuesday a body was spotted by the coastguard helicopter and brought ashore on a lifeboat.

The body has not been formally identified but is believed to be that of the missing man, police said.

His next of kin have been informed. 

HM Coastguard dealt with 340 individual incidents across the whole of the UK on Saturday, its highest amount of call-outs in a single day for over four years. 

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency told MailOnline: 'The search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent, RNLI lifeboats from Shoreham, Brighton and Newhaven and the Coastguard Rescue Teams from Shoreham and Littlehampton assisted Sussex Police with a search off Shoreham today (August 11) following further information received about an inflatable dinghy found drifting off Shoreham yesterday (August 10).' 

On Monday, 169 incidents were reported to the Coastguard, including 87, 999 emergency calls. 

The RNLI spent nine hours searching for the second victim yesterday before resuming the operation this morning at first light. 

The RNLI launched both its inshore and all-weather live boats at 6am.

As a result of the current heatwave and the difficulty of going on holiday abroad, hundreds of thousands of Britons have been flocking to the beach. 

On Friday alone, the coastguard responded to 70 call-outs by mid-day, which is 'above average for this time of year. 

The Coastguard reported its busiest day for more than four years as it dealt with 329 incidents on July 31, when the UK recorded the hottest day of the year and the third warmest on record, with the mercury rising to 37.8C (100.04F) at Heathrow Airport.

Matt Leat, head of infrastructure and technology lead at HM Coastguard, said this weekend could see a similar number of call-outs as families take advantage of the heatwave. 

Mr Leat urged the public not to use inflatables at the beach as they get blown out to sea, and to check the tide to keep safe and to look out for each other.

On Saturday, HM Coastguard dealt with 340 individual incidents across the UK - the highest level of call outs for four years. 

On Friday, they had 329 emergency calls. 

According to HM Coastguard: 'Packed coastlines and beaches kept us very busy throughout another hot heatwave day, which saw Coastguard Rescue Teams attend 221 incidents.

'Both the RNLI and independent lifeboats were called out on 155 occasions combined and aircraft (30 taskings) were also used to assist at the coast and sea.

'HM Coastguard responded to 186 999 calls yesterday and coordinated search and rescue responses to a wide-range of incidents, which included people being cut off by the tide and children swept out to sea on inflatables.

I'n total, the service rescued 146 people and assisted a further 371 people.' 





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