Search resumes for missing person

Thurrock Gazette: The RNLI was involved in the search for a person swept out to sea on New Year's Eve after going for a paddle in rough water The RNLI was involved in the search for a person swept out to sea on New Year's Eve after going for a paddle in rough water

An air and sea search resumed today for a person swept out to sea on New Year's Eve after going for a paddle in rough water.

The missing person, who has not been named, had gone for a paddle with friends last night in the sea at Loe Bar, near Porthleven, Cornwall.

HM Coastguard said that when some of the group were up to their knees in the sea a large wave swept the person off their feet.

One of the group called 999 and spoke to Falmouth Coastguard who immediately sought help from Coastguard Rescue Teams at Penzance, Porthleven, Mullion and Porthoustock, RNLI lifeboats from Penlee and Lizard and a rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose.

The coastguard rescue teams, lifeboats and helicopter searched in atrocious weather conditions but were unable to find any sign of the missing person.

By 4.30am they had covered the search area many times over but were unable to find the person.

The search was suspended until first light when the coastguard teams began another search.

Phil Mathias, Falmouth Coastguard watch manager, said: "The weather for searching has been particularly challenging and as the night has gone on, conditions have deteriorated.

"There have been south to south westerly gale force to severe gale force winds with very rough sea and rain.

"The teams have conducted a very intensive search for the missing person.

"We have been able to focus our efforts into a relatively tight area because of onshore winds but have still been unable to locate the missing person."

Meanwhile, a woman died after getting swept out to sea at the popular beauty spot Croyde Bay in north Devon yesterday morning.

The coastguard were called at around 11.24am after receiving reports that a woman had been swept out to sea near Braunton.

The woman, who was believed to be on holiday with her family, was recovered from the sea and airlifted to hospital but confirmed dead at hospital.

Later, police said the 27-year-old missing man, who was on holiday in the county, had gone swimming with friends at Loe Bar beach.

"The male was part of a group on holiday in the area, five of whom went for a night swim," a Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said.

"It was only when the other swimmers returned to the beach that they realised their friend was not with them.

"The weather and water conditions, at the time, were described as being rough. The family of the male are aware of the incident."

Meanwhile, police were warning local residents and visitors to the West Country not to enter the sea during the bad weather following two incidents in recent days.

"There are people who enjoy swimming in all weathers as well as those who may underestimate the danger a rough sea can pose. During the current bad weather, we would appeal to everyone to use common sense and not put themselves in unnecessary danger," the police spokesman said.

In addition, people who enjoy walking on beaches and rocky areas should take care not to allow themselves, or their pets, get too close to waves.

"Although we have not had any recent instances, there have been occasions when large waves have washed people and animals into the water resulting in deaths," the spokesman said.

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