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Rescuers faced appalling conditions in New Year search at Loe Bar

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 09, 2014

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THE search for the missing man from Loe Bar in the early hours of New Year's Day was a challenge for the two lifeboat crews.

The Lizard and Penlee lifeboats were each sent to the beach to search for Harry Swordy, who had been swept out to sea at about 1am. However, gale force winds and a raging sea state caused problems for the boats.

For several hours, the lifeboats battled through the surf to try to find the missing holidaymaker.

They were joined by a Navy helicopter from RNAS Culdrose and about 20 coastguard personnel who searched from the shore.

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The search resumed in daylight on New Year's Day but they were unable to find Mr Swordy.

His body was located washed up on Porthleven beach two days later.

An RNLI spokesman said: "Conditions at the scene were very difficult as the sea was rough with a very big surf running onto the beach.

"This hampered the lifeboats' ability to get close inshore.

"After several hours of searching and with nothing found The Lizard and Penlee lifeboats were stood down with The Lizard returning to station just after 6am."

Lizard lifeboat coxswain Andrew Putt said: "The sea was very rough.

"There was a five-metre swell which caused a big surf to run in onto the beach.

"Due to the conditions, we searched as close inshore as was possible, along with the crew of the Penlee lifeboat. There was no moonlight and with the heavy, squally showers, visibility at times was very poor."

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