Coastguard helicopter called to search for ‘teenager in sea’ in St Leonards

Emergency services including the coastguard helicopter were called to assist with a search on St Leonards seafront this evening (Tuesday, July 23).

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 8:06 pm

HM Coastguard and Sussex Police officers were seen along the beach in St Leonards around 6pm, with the coastguard helicopter circling overhead.

A HM Coastguard spokesman said: “Just before 5:40 this afternoon (July 23) HM Coastguard received a call from a member of the public saying that they had lost sight of a teenager that was swimming in the water off Hastings beach.

“Hastings and Bexhill coastguard rescue teams, St Leonards lifeguards, Hastings RNLI Lifeboat, Sussex Police and the HM Coastguard helicopter from Lydd were all sent. The teenager had got caught in a strong current and was found safe and well ashore away from her original location.

The Coastguard helicopter was circling the skies over St Leonards SUS-190723-190009001

“We’re experiencing some great weather at the moment, if you’re going to the coast head to a lifeguarded beach. If you’re going for a swim, stay within your depth and 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.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police confirmed they were called to reports of concern for a woman who walked into the sea and had not come back out.

However, the spokesman said the woman had been located in the town after getting ‘disorientated’.

A short while later, the Coastguard helicopter was called to a second, unrelated incident in the area.

The HM Coastguard spokesman added: “HM Coastguard was called by a member of the public saying that they could see two people potentially in difficulty in the water off Hastings Lifeboat Station just before 7:00 this evening (July 23). Bexhill and Hastings Coastguard rescue teams, Hastings RNLI Lifeboat and the Lydd Coastguard Helicopter were all sent. The two people had been swimming and came ashore by themselves and were safe and well.

“If you think someone might be in difficulty along the coast or at sea, even if you are not sure, calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard is the right thing to do. If we think someone might be in danger or in trouble we will always search for them and rescue them if it’s needed.”