RESCUE operation in St Leonards is called off

A SEARCH to find two people who were reported to have been trapped in a culvert yesterday (May 21) has been called off after an intensive search of the area found nothing. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard and Sussex Police Specialist Search Team attended the scene after an emergency call was received at about 2.10pm yesterday.

A man out walking in Cinque Ports Way, St Leonards, reported a man and woman trapped after hearing voices through a drainage pipe some 100 metres from the shoreline.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue crews from Hastings were dispatched to the scene and with the help of Southern Water gained access to the culvert via the water treatment centre.

They made an initial search of the water but could not find the man and woman, and Sussex Police’s Specialist Search Team then worked with the Coastguard in search for the pair.

Another search was conducted at 1.20 but nothing was found and an earlier sweep of the shore area, in case anyone had been swept out to sea, also found nothing.

Sergeant Stella Wells said: “After receiving the report of two people trapped we did all we could in the rising tide to find them. It is possible that the voices the man heard were an echo from people standing outside the pipe.

The incident has now been closed.