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Crowds welcome the Springboks to Eastbourne

The crowd assembled ahead of the Springboks' welcoming ceremony in Eastbourne

Crowds have been arriving at the Winter Gardens Theatre in Eastbourne to welcome the South African Rugby World Cup team to the UK.

The Springboks are here t take part in the Rugby World Cup. Their first match will be against Japan at the Amex Stadium in Brighton on Saturday 19th September.

The kickoff is at 4.45pm. The match will be shown live on ITV.

Eastbourne welcomes team South Africa for Rugby World Cup

The Springboks arrive at Heathrow Airport ahead of the Rugby World Cup Credit: Scott Heavey/Getty Images for England Rugby 2015

The Sussex town of Eastbourne is preparing to welcome the South African Rugby team to the Uk and the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks arrived at Heathrow Airport on 11th September ahead of the global contest which starts on Friday 18th September 2015. The team will be welcomed at a special ceremony in Eastbourne today.

Next stop - Eastbourne
Time for a selfie before the competition begins Credit: Getty Images


Dismay for campaigners as Assisted Dying bill thrown out by MPs

Steve Parlanti watched his mother die in agony from a highly agressive form of cancer. She - and he - desperately wished it was possible for doctors to end her life. Today, at his home in Eastbourne, he listened with intense interest as the Assisted Dying Bill was debated before a key House of Commons vote on the issue. Andrea Thomas reports, also speaking to MPs Caroline Ansell and Maria Caulfield.

Eastbourne is one of the fastest growing seaside resorts in the country

Credit: ITV news

Eastbourne is one of the fastest growing seaside towns in the country with a massive rise in business this year. A survey by a letting firm found more and more holidaymakers are looking to the South Coast town for their self-catering break.

Their website recorded a rise in searches for Eastbourne of almost 44% between January and June, compared to the same period last year. The website also saw a rise in users of more than a quarter during the first half of 2015, along with an increase in overseas visitors and bookings for self-catering properties.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “We’ve definitely seen a growing trend this year with more and more independent holidaymakers searching for Eastbourne, looking for boutique style self-catering accommodation, of which Eastbourne has a wonderful offering.”

Driver arrested after teenage girl killed in crash

A 16-year-old pedestrian has died after colliding with a car in Susans Road in Eastbourne.

The student, from Belgian, suffered fatal injuries and was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The crash happened near to the junction with Pevensey Road

She died a short while later.

The driver, a 45-year-old man from Bexhill, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses.


Seal rescued after being spotted in distress

A seal has been rescued after being spotted in distress near a harbour.

Teams from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service were called to reports of an emaciated seal near the Boardwalk at Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne. Members of the public reported seeing a small thin seal on the beach and were worried about it being washed out to sea.

Rescued Seal Credit: East Sussex Wildlife Rescue

After spending some time walking the shore, rescuers spotted the seal. It was being tossed in the surf and trying to come ashore. Rescuers attempted to contain the seal and at one point even ended up in the sea but sadly the seal disappeared.

It was very frustrating as the seal clearly was too weak to climb up the shingle out of the surf, and kept returning to the water. We just couldn’t get close enough quickly enough to catch the seal.

– Trevor Weeks, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue

After monitoring the shore for a while, rescuers left disheartened fearing the worse. After returning to WRAS's Casualty Centre the rescue phone rang again and the seal had been spotted just inside the harbour on the shingle.

Rescuers returned and were able to track down the seal. It was then examined on the beach and found to be very underweight and very cold. The seal was then transported to RSPCA Mallydams Wood in Hastings, where it is being given specialist care.

Concern for two missing 15-year-olds

Debbie Sales and Charlie Saunter were last seen together on Monday Credit: Sussex Police

Police are growing concerned for two teenagers who they believe could be together.

Debbie Sales, 15 from Seaford and Charlie Saunter, 15, from Eastbourne have been friends for many years and were last seen together on Monday outside McDonald's in Eastbourne.

Debbie was last seen at her home at 7pm on July 12 and Charlie left at 9am on Monday 13.

Debbie is described as 5', long blonde hair with blue eyes and Charlie is 5'8" slim build with blonde hair. He was wearing skinny black jeans, a grey hooded top with Duffer written on the front and carrying a black bag.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on quoting serial 1226 12/07.

"We are appealing to them to please get in touch and let us know they are ok. We think they might be together and could be in the Eastbourne or Hastings area, though Debbie does have connections to Brighton."

– Shannon Marchesani from the missing person team

Eastbourne gets underway but No.1 seed forced out

Petra Kvitova forced to pull out of the tournament with a bug

The women's number one seed and reigning Wimbledon Champion had to pull out of Eastbourne today after suffering from a bug. Petra Kvitova said she couldn't jeopardise her chances at Wimbledon by playing at this week's tournament. But the British number two, Johanna Konta, who has won a wild card at Wimbledon, said the tournament was vital preparation and couldn't wait to play in the town she now calls home.

"I wanted to play some matches here but it doesn't really make sense to play and not be ready for Wimbledon."

– Petra Kvitova, No 1 seed
Ground workers clear the rain to allow play to start

Johanna had to wait for the rain to clear but after a damp start, play did get underway - much to the delight of the crowd. The ground staff at Devonshire Park did their best to dry out the courts as quickly as possible so that the club could host five of the world's top ten women.

British no. 2 Johanna Konta calls Eastbourne 'home'

"We're fortunate enough to get one extra week in the preparation for Wimbledon so I'm very happy people are out here despite the rain and hopefully I can give them some good tennis."

– Johanna Konta, British No.2
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