Search for 19-year-old man missing in sea at West Wittering stood down

An emergency search for a man who went missing in the sea at West Wittering has been stood down.

The Coastguard, RNLI and a search helicopter were launched last night. (4 September)

It's reported 19-year-old Ryan Baldry was in the sea with a group of friends at West Wittering when they got into difficulty.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: "HM Coastguard has this afternoon stood down the search for a man reported to be in difficulty in the water at West Wittering last night.

"An extensive operation was carried out through the night, this morning and into the early afternoon, after the alarm was raised at around 8pm on Monday 4 September.

“The search involved Coastguard Rescue Teams from Hayling, Hill Head, Portsmouth, Selsey, Lymington and Littlehampton, alongside HM Coastguard helicopters from Lee-on-the-Solent and Lydd, two HM Coastguard fixed-wing aircraft, RNLI lifeboats from Bembridge, Selsey, Hayling and Portsmouth and the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service lifeboat.

“Assistance has also been provided by passing vessels, Sussex Police and harbour authorities.”

HM Coastguard is at the scene at West Wittering beach. Credit: ITV Meridian

Lifeguards are on duty at West Wittering between mid-May to mid-September from 10am until 5pm.

In a statement a spokesperson for Sussex Police said: "At approximately 8.45pm on Monday (4 September), police were alerted by Solent Coastguard to a man in distress in the sea at West Wittering.

"The man is described as white, slim and 5’10”. He has long black hair and facial hair and is wearing black swimming shorts.

"Anybody with information which could help in the search is asked to call 999, quoting serial 1711 of 04/09."

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