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Body Found In Search For Missing Swimmer

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4:10pm 2nd January 2014
(Updated 4:10pm 2nd January 2014)

A body has been found on Porthleven beach.

A search which was due to resume on Thursday for a man missing after a new year's paddle went wrong has been stood down.

The twenty-seven year old from Guildford and a group of friends had gone in at around 1am before a big wave swept him away.

Penlee and Lizard lifeboats were scrambled to the scene when the other four swimmers realised what had happened and raised the alarm.

But atrocious weather conditions meant that rescue crews were unable to get close to shore.

Coastguard teams from  Penzance, Porthleven, Mullion and Porthoustock were sent in to help search along with a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose until the weather meant it was too dangerous to continue.

The search was stood down and relaunched at first light.

Phil Mathias, Falmouth Coastguard watch manager, said: "The weather for searching has been particularly challenging and as the night has gone on, conditions have deteriorated."

The man's parents have arrived in the Duchy. His sister is understood to have been part of the group of friends who were spending the new year in Cornwall.

No formal identification of the body has taken place.

Falmouth Coastguard said it was spotted by a local who lives near the beach.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The police were called at around 9am this morning after receiving a call from a member of the public.

"Next of kin have been informed but formal ID has not yet taken place.

"Police are preparing a report for the Coroner.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time."

it is sparking a sea safety warning from crews. Andrew Putt, coxswain of the Lizard lifeboat, said: "Both us and the Penlee lifeboat could only get to within about half a mile of the beach itself because of the weather conditions. Conditions were such that we were only 400-500 yards or so from the Penlee lifeboat and we kept losing sight of her in the troughs of the waves so it wasn't a particularly nice place to be.

"The sea is the master - you will never beat it. It looks very pretty when it's rough and it's all pounding on the beach but it is so, so dangerous to go anywhere near breaking waves, the further away they can be the better.

"The beach moves, anything could happen. You could just get one wave come in that's slightly bigger than the rest of them and before you know where you're are you're in the water. It's dangerous, it must look nice but people must keep well clear of the sea because this is what happens."


4:10pm 2nd January 2014

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