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Lifeboat and Coastguard teams search for man swept out to sea near Helston

By CMScott  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

Penlee lifeboat Ivan Ellen joined the search off Porthleven.

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A man is missing after taking a New Year's Eve paddle in the early hours with friends and being swept out to sea.

Falmouth Coastguard say the 26-year-old is still missing after disappearing beneath a big wave at around 1am this morning at Loe Bar, near Porthleven and Helston.

Penlee and and Lizard Lifeboats were immediately called to the scene after the man went missing but were unable to get close in to shore because of "atrocious" weather conditions.

The search, also involving Coastguard Rescue Teams and a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose, was called off because of the weather at around 4am.

Falmouth Coastguard say the search was resumed at first light but the man is still missing.

A Marine and Coastguard spokesperson said: "The person had gone out walking with a group of friends who had decided to make for Loe Bar.

"The group went for a paddle in the rough seas and when some of them were up to their knees a large wave swept the person off their feet.

"One of the group called 999 and spoke to Falmouth Coastguard who immediately requested the following to begin a search."

Coastguard Rescue Teams from Penzance, Porthleven, Mullion and Porthoustock joined RNLI all weather lifeboats from Penlee and Lizard and ar escue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose in the search.

The spokesperson said: "The coastguard rescue teams, lifeboats and helicopter searched for some hours in atrocious weather conditions but sadly were unable to find any sign of the missing person.

"By 4.30 am they had covered the search area many times over but had been unable to locate a person in the water.

"The search was therefore suspended until first light when the coastguard teams would begin another search.

Phil Mathias, Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager said the weather had been "particularly challenging" and as the night went on, conditions deteriorated.

He said: "There have been south to south westerly gale force to severe gale force winds with very rough sea and rain.

"The teams have conducted a very intensive search for the missing person. We have been able to focus our efforts into a relatively tight area because of onshore winds but have still been unable to locate the missing person."

Devon and Cornwall Police officers are also helping at the scene and supporting family and friends of the man, believed to be a holidaymaker from Surrey.

More updates will follow.

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  • ChyTol  |  January 01 2014, 6:40PM

    Loe Bar is an absolute "no no" for bathing at anytime. Lucky only 1 is missing feared drowned. What an utter waste of a life.

    |   7
  • TheodoreV  |  January 01 2014, 12:31PM

    Holidaymakers, familiar only with leisure centres, need to be advised that the open sea is a careless and dangerous mistress, which you tempt at the peril of your very life.

    |   13