Search for swimmer seen in difficulty off South Beach, Lowestoft, called off for the evening

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

The search for a swimmer seen in difficulty in the sea at South Beach, Lowestoft, this afternoon has had to be called off for this evening.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

UK Coastguard was alerted just before 1pm earlier today that a man was in trouble in the sea at South Beach.

It is believed an off-duty paramedic raised the alarm after seeing a person in the water who appeared to wave and then disappear.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

An extensive search was carried out this afternoon, with three RNLI lifeboats, one from Lowestoft and two from Gorleston called out to help with the search.

Coastguard rescue teams from Lowestoft, Southwold and Gorleston were also called, along with lifeguards from Lowestoft and Suffolk police.

Teams are searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes.

Teams are searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd was also involved and carried out a thorough search of the area.

Rob Priestley, controller for UK Coastguard said: “We received initial reports that a man had been seen struggling in the water.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

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“If anyone has any information that this man got ashore safely or if it was you, please call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

“Let us know you’re safe.”

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes.

Teams searching for the missing swimmer off Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

A Lowestoft lifeboat spokesman said the Gorleston lifeboats had been searching the area known as children’s corner, while the coastguard concentrated its efforts on the rocks by South Beach.

At around 4pm, the search moved north in the direction of Gorleston where the tide would have taken anyone in the sea.

However the spokesman confirmed the search has now been called off and nothing has been found.

It is not yet known whether the search will resume in the morning.

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