Helicopter and lifeboats search for man in sea

Brighton RNLI lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Tim Ash
Brighton RNLI lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Tim Ash

VOLUNTEER lifeboat crews from three RNLI stations were launched this afternoon to search the sea after reports that a man jumped from Brighton Pier.

Lifeboat crews from Brighton, Shoreham Harbour and Newhaven RNLI stations were all tasked by Solent Coastguard at around 1.30pm.

Members of the public had contacted emergency services to say they had seen a man jump off the eastern side of the pier.

Jade Cohen, Brighton RNLI volunteer, said the crew from his station was tasked to help search immediately. Shortly after, it was decided other lifeboats were required.

Newhaven’s all-weather lifeboat crew happened to be afloat on a multi-agency exercise at the time, with other emergency services. They were immediately sent to the scene.

The inshore and all-weather lifeboats at Shoreham Harbour RNLI were also tasked.

Jade said: “The scene was extremely busy, with a lot of activity from different agencies. Solent Coastguard’s Rescue 104 helicopter was also taking part in the search for the man.

“Meanwhile, a specialist search team from Sussex Police, who were in Brighton investigating a separate case, were redirected to help with the search.”

Both all-weather lifeboats from Shoreham and Newhaven were stood down at around 3.30pm, as was the rescue helicopter.

Brighton and Shoreham inshore lifeboats remained on scene assisting police with the search for the missing man, but they too were stood down at 4.13pm.

At the time of the incident the sea was approaching low tide, but as of 4.30pm, the tide was at its highest.