UPDATE: Man pulled from sea in major rescue

HM Coastguard Stock SUS-151006-160738001

HM Coastguard Stock SUS-151006-160738001

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A man has been rescued from the sea at Cuckmere this morning (Monday).

Emergency services – including two helicopters – have been in the area around Beachy Head, the Cuckmere beach, Birling Gap and Seven Sisters since early this morning when the drama began to unfold.

Coastguards were called because of concerns over the man’s welfare.

He is thought to have run into the sea naked saying he wanted to swim from Cuckmere to Brighton.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said, “Following the discovery of a car grounded and abandoned close to the driveway at the Belle Tout lighthouse at around 8am, police and coastguards, supported by a helicopter from the National Police Air Service, began a search of the area.

“A man acting suspiciously was located on the clifftops at the Seven Sisters and followed westwards by officers until he entered the sea at Cuckmere beach.

“He was persuaded to return to the shore and at 11.24am he was detained by officers under the Mental Health Act.”

Police, coastguards, lifeboat crews and ambulances were at the scene.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said police called for assistance at around 9am this morning, and rescue teams from Newhaven, Eastbourne, and Birling Gap were sent as well as a helicopter from Lydd, Kent.