Three RNLI lifeboats and two helicopters in major search for an overdue swimmer
RNLI lifeboats from three stations and two coastguard helicopters were called out to search for a missing swimmer.
HM Coastguard coordinated the multi-agency search for the swimmer who was reported as overdue after going into the sea at Southwold.
An unattended pile of clothing is understood to have been found at a beach hut nearby.
The search initially involved the volunteer crews of RNLI lifeboats from Southwold and Lowestoft, together with Suffolk Police, East of England Ambulance Service and six local Coastguard rescue teams. They were later joined by a RNLI lifeboat from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.
The first crews were called out just before 7pm on Monday 17 October.
The extensive night-time search using searchlights was carried out along the coast between Lowestoft and Southwold.
Two Coastguard Rescue helicopters flew from Kent and Humberside to take part in the search.
A Lowestoft lifeboat spokesman said: 'The helicopters and each lifeboat were given its own search pattern to cover as much of the area as possible.'
The lifeboat crews continued the search into the early hours and both Lowestoft and Gorleston RNLI lifeboats then returned to their moorings at 4am after nine and six hours at sea respectively
The crew of Southwold lifeboat was called out at 6.39am the following day after the sad news from the police that a body had been found on the beach at Covehithe.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family and friends at this sad time.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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