Lifeboat crews search for kayaker after kayak washed up at Birling Gap

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Lifeboat crews launched a search on Sunday (July 13) after a kayak was found washed up at Birling Gap, leading to concerns a kayaker could have gone missing.

Crews said a kayak was found washed up on the shore line near Birling Gap and the alarm was raised. Soon afterwards a broken paddle was also recovered nearby, crews said.

A spokesman said: “At the time of the launch there was a 16 knot south westerly breeze which would have quickly pushed the kayak along towards the north east. The lifeboat was assisted by Coastguard rescue helicopter R104 plus Birling Gap Coastguards and Seaford lifeguards who searched the shore line.

“The lifeboats small inflatable Y boat was launched with two crew on board. Both boats then searched a large area close to shore from Newhaven to the Beachy Head lighthouse. The main lifeboat and Y boat then stepped out to approximately half a mile offshore, then one mile and 1.5 miles.”

Crews said despite a comprehensive search nothing was found and the search was called off at 4.10pm.