Playful seal sparks RNLI alert off Cooden beach

Eastbourne inshore lifeboat The Eastbourne inshore lifeboat responded with another from Hastings

Lifeboat crews called to a report of two people in trouble in the English Channel off East Sussex found a man swimming with a playful seal.

Dover Coastguard was alerted after a woman reported seeing one person struggling in the sea and another shouting for help off Cooden beach.

The alert prompted a response from Eastbourne and Hastings inshore RNLI lifeboats at about 08:30 BST.

The RNLI said the incident was logged as a false alarm with good intent.

"When the volunteer crews arrived on scene it was discovered that the early-morning swimmer had found he was swimming with a playful seal and was so thrilled with the experience that he couldn't help but yell out with sheer joy," said a spokesman.

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