Five men dead after being pulled from sea at family beach
Published 24/08/2016 | 17:27
Two more bodies have been found on the beach at Camber Sands, East Sussex, where three men died after being pulled from the sea earlier today.
A search is under way for a further missing person, the RNLI said.
The five men died after being pulled from the sea on one of the hottest days of the year in the UK.
Emergency teams were called to reports of the men needing urgent medical aid at Camber Sands, near Rye, East Sussex, at about 2.15pm, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: "The three men, who have not yet been identified, sadly died despite efforts to save them."
Emergency teams were called to the beach to reports of a person in the sea. When they arrived, another person was seen in difficulty at 2.20pm and 15 minutes later a third person was rescued.
The tragedy happened as the beach was packed with people. Beachgoers were urged to stay out of the sea while investigations continue.
One eye-witness, Natalja Taylor, 30, who was on a day-trip with her husband, said police were driving up the beach with a loud hailer urging people to stay out of the sea.
She said: "We were sat on a hill a bit further away and we saw three people being pulled out of the water. I think the people who rescued them were regular people, not emergency personnel.
"We don't know what condition they were in. There were so many people there. They were still on the beach when we left.
"Police drove on to the beach with a loudspeaker, telling people not to go into the water until further notice. They also taped off a huge chunk of the beach so no-one could get near it.
"It's pretty scary. I'm not sure how it happened. We decided not to go into the sea after seeing warning signs about some kind of fish. It wasn't particularly windy down there, it was just a hot, sunny beach day.
"There was a lot of people on the beach, particularly for a weekday. We're now just hoping that everyone involved is okay."
The Lydd and Lee-on-Solent-based UK Coastguard search-and-rescue helicopters were also scrambled to the scene, along with an air ambulance. An RNLI lifeboat from Rye and Coastguard rescue teams are also there.
Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly, of Sussex Police, said: "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."
It is the second tragedy to take place recently at Camber Sands.
Last month 19-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz died after getting into difficulty while swimming in the sea there.
Mr Da Cruz, who was visiting family in Croydon, south London, was one of three men who got into trouble. The two others, who were not connected to him, included a man aged 35 and his son aged 17.