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Swimmers found ‘safe and well’ after huge search off Felixstowe beach

PUBLISHED: 16:07 18 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:06 19 August 2020

Scenes by Felixstowe Pier as a search operation is underway for two swimmers after getting into difficulty  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Scenes by Felixstowe Pier as a search operation is underway for two swimmers after getting into difficulty Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

CHARLOTTE BOND

Two swimmers have been found “safe and well” following a huge search operation off Felixstowe beach involving a helicopter and a number of boats.

Scenes by Felixstowe Pier as a search operation is underway for two swimmers after getting into difficulty  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDScenes by Felixstowe Pier as a search operation is underway for two swimmers after getting into difficulty Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Coastguard first received reports of the stranded swimmers shortly before 11.30am today.

A huge emergency search involving three incident response units, two Coastguard teams, two ambulances and four police response ensued.

An Essex and Herts air ambulance also landed in Langer Park and waited on standby while the search was carried out.

However, at 3.30pm the Coastguard confirmed that the two swimmers had been found safe and well.

A helicopter and several boats could be seen scouring the sea near to Felixstowe beach this afternoon. Picture: ADAM FARNWORTHA helicopter and several boats could be seen scouring the sea near to Felixstowe beach this afternoon. Picture: ADAM FARNWORTH

MORE: Helicopter joins search for ‘two swimmers in difficulty’ off Felixstowe beach

A spokesperson said: “At just before 11.30am today, HM Coastguard received a report of two swimmers potentially in difficulty off of Felixstowe Pier.

“Felixstowe and Shingle Street Coastguard Rescue Teams, Harwich RNLI ILB and ALB, Walton ALB and the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd were sent.

“Suffolk Police, the East of England Ambulance Service and the air ambulance also attended this incident.

Search operation in Felixstowe after two swimmers get into difficulty Search operation in Felixstowe after two swimmers get into difficulty

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“Search and rescue assets performed an extensive search in the area.

“Two swimmers were located safe and well on the shore about 2.45pm this afternoon.”

Pictures showed the dramatic scenes as a helicopter flew low over the sea while boats searched the water.

Search operation in Felixstowe after two swimmers get into difficultySearch operation in Felixstowe after two swimmers get into difficulty

A crowd of onlookers waited anxiously on the prom and Pier Bight outside Felixstowe Pier for news.

One man said: “It’s just horrible to think what has possibly happened. There seems to be something awful along the coast every summer.

“We swim here but we never go out far - the current can be quite strong just a little way offshore.”

A man on a day trip from Ipswich with his wife and two children said: “I just hope there is some good news soon. We have been standing here hoping and praying.”

Suffolk police were called at 12.40pm today to support the coastal services after a number of swimmers were reported having difficulty off Felixstowe Pier.

Harwich RNLI received the call at 11.30am and dispatched two lifeboats to the scene off Felixstowe beach.

Both supported the search which lasted for around four hours.


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