Sussex

Camber Sands: Search called off after 'missing woman' found

RNLI van
Image caption Emergency rescue crews began a major operation just after 09:00 BST but later said the alert was a false alarm

A search for a woman thought to be missing in the sea at Camber Sands has been called off after she came forward to the coastguard.

Emergency rescue crews began a major operation just after 09:00 BST but later said the alert was a false alarm.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the swimmer had been identified and was safe and well.

The woman was reported missing after she was seen going into the sea but was not seen coming out.

Sussex Police said a member of the public had raised the alarm after seeing an abandoned pair of flip flops and a woman diving into the sea, but not returning.

A coastguard helicopter and three lifeboats were sent to the scene along with the police and RNLI to join in the search.

The operation came just four days after five men died at the beach in East Sussex on the hottest day of the year.

Image caption The coastguard helicopter and three lifeboats were sent to the scene

Police said a woman matching the description of the swimmer called the RNLI at about 11:45 to identify herself.

A spokesman for the force said: "The search has been called off and police are no longer dealing."

Image caption Lifeguards have been working alongside beach patrols at Camber Sands this weekend

Lack of lifeguards

A temporary RNLI lifeguard service has been in place at Camber Sands over the bank holiday weekend after five men died there on Wednesday.

Relatives of those who died had criticised the lack of lifeguards on the beach.

The men, who were in their teens and 20s, and all from south east London were:

  • Kenugen Saththiyanathan, 18, from Erith
  • Kobikanthan Saththiyanathan 22, from Erith
  • Nitharsan Ravi, 22, from Plumstead
  • Inthushan Sriskantharaja, 23, from Grays
  • Gurushanth Srithavarajah, 27, from Welling

Last month, 19-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz also died while swimming in the sea at Camber.

Image caption Lifeguards marked out safe areas of the sea with flags while the search was under way

How to stay safe at the beach

The RNLI said it was providing extra lifeguards this weekend after Rother District Council accepted its offer to provide them.

Rother council previously said beach patrols were on duty to advise beachgoers of potential dangers.

An online petition calling for lifeguards at Camber Sands has been signed by more than 7,700 people.

Image caption Weather is cooler and more windy than last week, so most people were paddling rather than swimming

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