Lifeboat called after Pokémon hunters spotted in sea at Hastings

Three girls sparked an alert after they were spotted looking for Pokémon in the sea on Wednesday night (July 27).
Hastings lifeboat crews. Photo by Paul Kelly ENGSUS00120120918130541Hastings lifeboat crews. Photo by Paul Kelly ENGSUS00120120918130541
Hastings lifeboat crews. Photo by Paul Kelly ENGSUS00120120918130541

A concerned member of the public called the police after seeing the trio in the waves just west of the pier shortly before 9.30pm.

Hastings Lifeboat and the Coastguard were put on standby, amid fears the teenagers had gotten into trouble.

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But the teams were stood down after officers from Sussex Police spoke to the trio and established they were playing Pokémon Go.

The augmented reality game, which is played on mobile phones, sees participants track down the cartoon characters in their surroundings.

BBC Sussex reported that a red flag, warning swimmers of serious hazards in the water, was flying at the time of the incident.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “The caller was concerned as the sea was quite rough and the girls appeared to be fully clothed.

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“Officers attended and established that the girls were looking for Pokémon.

“They were advised not to go into the water.”

This advice was echoed by Steve Warne, coxswain of Hastings Lifeboat, who said: “We are asking people to please have a look at the RNLI Respect the Water Campaign.

“It’s got lots of information about water safety and can be found on our Twitter and Facebook pages and the RNLI main website.”

The Pokémon Go craze has led to a number of players around the world being injured in their quest to catch the monsters.

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There have been reports of players falling off cliffs, getting lost in huge underground caves and one woman got stuck in a tree.

The Observer has discovered the characters lurking in various dangerous locations in Hastings and Rother.

The cartoon critters have been seen in the middle of busy roads, including the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.

Pokémon have also been found on railway lines, level crossings, on the cliff edge at Galley Hill and the forecourt of Battle Fire Station.

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