5 swept to their deaths on hottest day of year

Thou­sands weep as bod­ies are brought ashore at beach


FIVE peo­ple died at a pop­u­lar fam­ily beach yes­ter­day and res­cuers were look­ing for an­other per­son last night.

Two were found washed up on the shore by a mem­ber of the pub­lic at 8pm at Cam­ber Sands in East Sus­sex

Ear­lier, thou­sands of hor­ri­fied sun­bathers watched as the bod­ies of three men were lifted from the sea on the hottest day of the year.

Many were in tears, as par­ents tried to shield their chil­dren from the up­set­ting sight of the men be­ing re­cov­ered.

The deaths on the beach, which at­tracts 25,000 on a hot day, brought the UK drown­ing toll to 12 in the last week.

A stu­dent, who did not wish to be named, said: “It was hor­ri­ble – there were so many peo­ple cry­ing and fam­i­lies hug­ging each other.”

Res­cuers des­per­ately tried to re­vive the vic­tims for up to half an hour af­ter be­ing called at 2.10pm, fol­low­ing a re­port of a swim­mer in dis­tress. But soon an­other per­son was seen in dif­fi­cultly at 2.20pm and 15 min­utes later a third was brought in – but all three men died at the scene.

The stu­dent, from South East Lon­don, added that his fam­ily had all been look­ing for­ward to a lovely af­ter­noon at the beach, as the tem­per­a­ture reached a year-high of 33.9C, in Gravesend, Kent.

He said: “When we got there, there was a life­guard truck and air am­bu­lance. It was all very scary.

“While the peo­ple were do­ing CPR on the first two peo­ple, an­other per­son had

to be pulled out of the sea. One of the first two was put into a ve­hi­cle and driven away, but they used wind­break­ers to sur­round the other two peo­ple.

“Af­ter about 40 min­utes of do­ing CPR, a doc­tor must have turned up be­cause they stopped. There was so much cry­ing, it was ter­ri­ble.”

Bella San­ders, 23, said: “It was ab­so­lutely hor­ri­ble to see, the day was beau­ti­ful and ev­ery­one was hav­ing so much fun and en­joy­ing the weather.

“I can’t un­der­stand why it hap­pened, the sea was mostly very calm. But the tide had come in ex­tremely quickly.

“One minute it came up to my daugh­ter’s mid thigh then within two min­utes it was up to her shoul­ders. We left be­fore I could see what hap­pened to them as I couldn’t stop cry­ing, but learnt on the way home all three of them had died. I count my­self lucky I ar­rived home to­day.”

An­other wit­ness, Natalja Tay­lor, 30, on a day-trip with her hus­band, said po­lice were driv­ing up the beach with a loud­hailer urg­ing peo­ple to stay out of the sea. She said: “They also taped off a huge chunk of the beach so no one could get near it. It’s pretty scary. I’m not sure how it hap­pened. We de­cided not to go into the sea. It wasn’t par­tic­u­larly windy, just a hot, sunny beach day.

“There was a lot of peo­ple on the beach, par­tic­u­larly for a week­day.”

The three dead men had not yet been for­mally iden­ti­fied.

A spokesman for the RNLI said: “Rye Har­bour lifeboat has launched to as­sist in the search for an­other per­son in the wa­ter. Ear­lier two bod­ies were washed up on the beach and found by a mem­ber of the pub­lic. I don’t have de­tails of their gen­der or age.”

Last night Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Di Roskilly, talk­ing of the ear­lier triple tragedy, said: “This has been an in­cred­i­bly tragic sit­u­a­tion and very trau­matic for those on the beach at the time. We are do­ing all we can to es­tab­lish the iden­ti­ties.”

Six peo­ple died last week­end when huge waves bat­tered the Bri­tish coast.

Among them was tragic dad-of-three Rudy Bruynius, 33, who died af­ter get­ting into trou­ble in Newquay, Corn­wall, with his fam­ily on Fri­day evening.

His daugh­ter Mck­ayla Bruynius, two, also passed away af­ter a four-day bat­tle in hospi­tal yes­ter­day, bring­ing the to­tal to 12.

The five deaths yes­ter­day is the sec­ond re­cent se­ri­ous in­ci­dent at Cam­ber Sands.

Last month, 19-year-old Brazil­ian Gus­tavo Silva Da Cruz, who was vis­it­ing fam­ily in Croy­don, South Lon­don, died af­ter get­ting into dif­fi­culty while swim­ming in the sea there.

DES­PER­ATE Po­lice and res­cuers try to save men EMER­GENCY Po­lice and am­bu­lances yes­ter­day

TRAGIC SIGHT Peo­ple see res­cue bid yes­ter­day

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