Rescue operation launched after person goes missing on Brighton beach

A desperate search and rescue operation has been lauched after a person on a UK beach was swept out to sea.

Lifeboats and a helicopter are searching the sea near Brighton Pier after a report was made about someone in the water this afternoon.

Sussex police have confirmed the search is ongoing.

In a statement, they said: ‘Emergency services were called to a report of a person seen going into the water by Brighton Pier at about 3.50pm on Wednesday (April 12) in extremely rough sea conditions.

‘Searches by the Shoreham and Newhaven RNLI lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter are currently ongoing along with coastguard teams and police on the shoreline.

‘We have no further details currently.’

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: ‘HM Coastguard’s Newhaven, Littlehampton and Shoreham Coastguard Rescue Teams, alongside Shoreham and Newhaven RNLI all-weather lifeboats, Sussex Police and the Coastguard helicopter from Lee-On-Solent are coordinating a search for a possible person in the water at Brighton Palace Pier, following concerns first raised to emergency services shortly before 4pm today (12 April).’

Lifeboats can be seen battling the elements off the coast of Brighton as a search helicopter makes sweeps of the area.

The area has been hit by a fierce downpour of wind and rain this afternoon, and weather condiitions have been described as ‘horrendous.’

Eyewitness Andrew Gardner told the Argus weather conditions were getting worse.

‘Lifeboats and coastguards are continuing to search despite the treacherous conditions,’ he said.

‘The rain is really coming down now and many have taken shelter on the pier or in other buildings.

‘The waves are a lot higher than they were earlier and the light is fading.’

Volunteers from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) have since arrived at the scene and are assisting in the rescue operation.

A spokeswoman for Newhaven RNLI said: ‘Newhaven Lifeboat has been tasked at 15.59 this afternoon following reports of persons requiring assistance near Brighton.’

The search continues.

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