A body believed to be that of a kayaker who went missing in the sea near Hove Lagoon has been found on Hove beach this morning.
Search for missing kayaker off #Hove seafront in progress . HM Coastguard Helicopter assisted by #Shoreham and #Brighton lifeboats carrying out the search along with shoreline teams from @NCGIncident and @ShorehamCG @RNLIBrighton @SLifeboatRNLI @brightonargus @bhcitynews pic.twitter.com/05LhizhMXm
— Oliver Button (@OBDroning) August 2, 2020
The coastguard and other emergency services spent almost nine hours searching for the man after he was seen falling from the kayak at 12.30pm on Sunday.
The search was called off at 9pm, and this morning, the body was found. The missing kayaker has yet to be named.
Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty has expressed his “deep sadness”. He said: “This is extremely sad and tragic news, and the thoughts and sympathies of myself and the whole council are with the man’s family and friends.
“I know the rescue services did everything they could to find the person on Sunday after scanning the sea for hours.
“I am deeply saddened to find this morning that the incident has ended in tragic circumstances.
“At this time of year, especially on hot days, the sea can look very inviting. But we must all remember it can also be extremely dangerous, especially when it’s choppy and the currents are strong.
“It’s so easy for a swimmer, kayaker or stabd up paddleboarder to quickly get out of their depth and lose control of themselves and their equipment.
“Every beach is different, so make a point of reading safety signs, follow our guidelines and be extra cautious, especially in unfamiliar water.”
On sunday, coastguard rescue teams from Newhaven and Shoreham joined the search as well as the Brighton RNLI lifeboat, which had launched at 10.15am, the Shoreham RNLI inshore lifeboat and a Coastguard rescue helicopter.
A kayak and paddle were found ashore in the area and an air and sea search was carried out to find the missing kayaker.
The crews and teams searched from Brighton Pier along the coast to Worthing.
Shoreham Lifeboat Operations Manager Peter Huxtable said: “It has been an incredibly long and challenging search for our volunteer crews and all the teams involved.
“The lifeboats, coastguard teams and helicopter spent hours searching along the coastline and shoreline from Brighton to Worthing.”
Stay safe – follow these guidelines
• Stay close to the shore
• If venturing further out, make sure you’re a strong swimmer
• Remember sea swimming is different from being in a pool
• Swim parallel to the shore
• Teach yourself and children to float in the water – it could save your life
• Always wear a proper life vest, especially children, if using a kayak or SUP
• Ensure the kayak or SUP is attached to you by an ankle strap
• Don’t take a pet on board a kayak or SUP
• Overloading a kayak or SUP with people will make it unsteady and unsafe
• Consider taking lessons on kayaking and SUPing
• If you get into trouble and have your mobile phone, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard
• Learn what the beach flags mean, and take them seriously.
What the beach flags mean
Beach flags are extremely important in keeping people safe. The following are used on UK beaches:
• Red and yellow flags – Lifeguarded area: safest place to swim, bodyboard and use inflatables
• Red flag – Danger! Never go in the water when the red flag is up, under any circumstances.
• Black and white flags – For surfboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft. Never swim or bodyboard here.
• Orange windsock – Shows offshore winds or unsafe water conditions – never use an inflatable when the sock is flying.