UK & World News

  • 21 December 2013, 14:33

Search For Woman Swept Out To Sea Called Off

A major search for a woman believed to have been swept out to sea has been called off due to appalling weather.

Coastguard rescue officers, lifeboat crews, police and a helicopter looked for the 36 year old in the Brighton beach area through the night and during first light.

But they were unable to locate her amid "very difficult and dangerous weather", said police.

Sussex officers called Solent maritime rescue centre at 2.24am saying a woman had gone into the water opposite the Digital nightclub, just west of the town's Palace Pier.

After leaving the seafront club she had walked along the beach with a man she knew and then she ran into the sea and was almost immediately swept off by a large wave, officers said.

The coastguard said both people were believed to have gone into the water and one managed to get back out while the other was taken out to sea.

A police spokesman said: "The man tried to grab her but was unable to drag her to safety.

"Police officers arrived within minutes and, together with club staff and her friend, approached the sea edge.

"But the woman was being washed further away and was inaccessible due to the very heavy sea conditions.

"Coastguards swiftly assisted the search by land and sea but the body has not, so far, been recovered and the immediate search has been discontinued at this time."

Solent Coastguard said: "We conducted a thorough search of the area and nothing was found. The conditions down there are appalling. It's force eight with severe gale warnings."

Police do not know why the woman, believed to be from Brighton, ran into the water and the incident was not being treated as suspicious.

Her next of kin have been contacted by family liaison officers.

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