Brighton Sea Search Two Missing After Going Into Water In Awful Weather On Night Out
Two men are missing at sea off the coast of Brighton, after going into the water in severe weather after a night out.
What began as a search operation overnight has now turned into a recovery mission, with "no chance of finding them alive", the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said today.
The victims, in their 20s, were among four men who had gone into the water in the early hours of today.
Two men managed to get back to shore and called the coastguard just after 1am, telling them that two of their companions were missing.
Eddie MitchellSearch: The men are believed to have gone into the sea after a night out
The search for the men, who were believed to have been on a night-out in the town before entering the choppy water, has since been stood down.
Volunteer lifeboat crews are expected to resume searches in waters close to the shoreline, although the helicopter crews have returned to base having "exhausted all possible options", the coastguard said.
A spokesman said: "The conditions for searching overnight were awful – it was pitch black and the sea was extremely choppy. It was very difficult to search.
Eddie MitchellAwful conditions: The sea was extremely rough as gale force winds battered the UK
"The helicopter and the all-weather lifeboats searched the area overnight but started to stand down at about 4.30am. They felt they had done all they could.
"Very sadly, nothing has been found and it is very unlikely that anything will be.
"This has turned into a recovery mission. Very sadly there is no chance of finding them alive.
"The coastguard remains on site but the searches will mostly be in and around the shoreline."