Sussex

Search for boy off Newhaven's West Beach carries on

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Media captionOn Sunday night conditions for the search were described as "extremely challenging"

The search is continuing for a schoolboy swept away from an East Sussex beach.

Dylan Alkins, 14, had been swimming with friends off Newhaven's West Beach on Sunday when police said he was "swept away by the current".

The Newhaven inshore lifeboat and police helicopter have been checking the shoreline.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the "matter was now a police one".

Sussex Police said officers, RNLI lifeboat and helicopter were carrying out searches along the shoreline for several miles each side of Newhaven.

Ch Insp Katy Woolford said; "All agencies are continuing to do everything possible to find the boy."

The Newhaven RNLI lifeboat and a coastguard helicopter took part in the search in "atrocious conditions" on Sunday evening.

Image caption The Newhaven lifeboat was partially damaged because of the strong waves

A lifeboat crew member suffered bruising and the boat itself was damaged by large waves during the operation.

Alan Novis, press officer for the Newhaven lifeboat, said the crew "battled some very challenging conditions, doing everything possible with our coastguard colleagues on the beaches and in the air to try and locate the missing boy".

The boy was swept out to sea at about 16:15 GMT, hours before a storm hitting parts of England reached the area.

None of his friends - who had been with him when he was swept away - suffered injuries.

He was last seen playing in the surf about 30ft (10m) from the shore, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

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