Three men who were pulled out of the water at Camber Sands this afternoon (Wednesday, August 24) have died.
The casualties were rescued one after another from around 2.10pm but two were dead when they were found, according to the RNLI.
The other man was reportedly airlifted to hospital but police confirmed he has also died.
Search and rescue teams are still searching the bay for a woman who was reportedly lost in the water, a Rye Harbour RNLI spokesman said.
Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly said: “We are working with Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Royal National Lifeboat Institute, South East Coast Ambulance and Rother District Council to clear the beach and encourage people to come out of the sea while we are investigating this incident.
“We are also asking people to stay away from Camber for the afternoon and evening to assist emergency services in managing this incident.
“This has been an incredibly tragic situation and very traumatic for those who were there on the beach at the time.
“At this stage we do not know who the men are and are doing all we can to establish their identities.”
Police denied the deaths were related to jellyfish and there is nothing to suggest the men were migrants.
A Rother District Council spokesman said: “We are very saddened to hear of this incident and our thoughts are with the families of those involved.
“Our beach patrols have been working with the emergency services at the scene this afternoon and will continue to provide whatever assistance is required.
“While it’s very upsetting to see two similar, tragic incidents this summer, over the years these kind of incidents are extremely rare and on a fine day around 25,000 people use the beach safely.
“Our beach patrols are on site throughout the summer and are able to advise people of potential dangers, reunite lost children and deal with any incidents on the beach.
“Although it’s too early to draw any conclusions from this latest incident, in recent years we have seen a change in the make-up of visitors to Camber, including more people from outside the area who are not familiar with the sea and the dangers it can pose.
“This has included visitors entering the sea although they’re not able to swim and in some cases entering the water fully clothed.
“We will continue to work with the emergency services and other colleagues to do more in educating people of the dangers of the sea.”
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