Hopes fade for swimmer, 19, missing at sea off Camber Sands


Hopes are fading for a 19-year-old man missing at sea after a search operation by the coastguard was called off.

The man, from London, was one of three swimmers who got into difficulty in the sea off East Sussex on Sunday afternoon.

Two men were airlifted to hospital after going into cardiac arrest during the incident at Camber Sands shortly after midday.

The pair were transferred to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, and were in a serious but stable condition.

The RNLI was involved alongside the coastguard in the search for the missing Londoner, but a spokesman said they were stood down at around 4.20pm.

Around five hours later the coastguard confirmed it had called off the search.

Inspector Mark Evans, of Sussex Police, said: "We are working to establish who these two men are and trace their family and friends."

He added: "It seems this has been three people who have got into trouble while swimming with the changing tides and coastline."

Emma Watson was on the beach with family members including her three young children, and witnessed the rescue.

The 35-year-old care assistant, from Banstead in Surrey, said she saw people receiving first aid on the beach.

She said: "It was absolutely horrific. The kids are now absolutely traumatised."

She described conditions on the beach as windy.

She said: "The tide was coming in rapidly, very quick. The current was very strong, it was very windy."

Police dismissed earlier reports the men had been stung by jellyfish.

The force tweeted: "To clarify the men got into difficulty in the sea at Camber & were not stung by jellyfish as is being reported in some places."