A major search operation is takng place this lunchtime following the discovery of a pile of clothes on the Eastney section of the beach. The clothing was discovered on the beach near the coffee cafe by a member of the public who raised the alarmed by calling Police.
A Coastguard search and rescue team from Portsmouth, and the RNLI life boat from Portsmouth and a number of Police officers are searching the beach. Two lifeboats were scrambled just before 1pm this afternoon and a further search and rescue team from Hayling Island have also been called in to support the search.
Lifeboat crews are currently searching a stretch of water between Lee on the Solent, Southsea and Hayling Island and Coastguard search teams have also gone as far a Chichester in attmept to locate the possible missing person.
Other coastguard search and rescue teams with officers from Hampshire Police have also carrying out a foot search along the beach on Southsea Seafront and surrounding areas. Police have said they have also been search vehicles in and around the area in an attempt to identify who the missing person is.
The UK Coastguard operations centre in Fareham duty officer said that this is still very much a search operation. Two MoD Policeboat have launched to join the search and the coastguard helicopter Rescue 104 based at Lee on the Solent is also carrying out a search from above between Fort Gilkicker and Chichester harbour.
Tom Wright Coastguard Incident commander for the UK Coastguard said “We received a call this morning into the operations room in Fareham from the police to say that some clothing had been found on the beach. Coastguard teams have been carrying out searches throughout the day on the beaches and surrounding areas. We have a number of search and rescue teams from Portsmouth,Hillhead,Hayling Island and two full time officers, One has been brought in from Dorset to assist. Two lifeboats from the RNLI at Portsmouth have carried out a shoreline search, the rescue helicopter has also search a very large area. Mr Right went on to say that they found and an e-cigarette and described the clothing as jogging bottoms grey in colour, they where found on the beach by member of public this morning. If anyone notices anyone who is missing and these item fit this description I would ask them to contact the Police or the coastguard. The search teams have carried out search pattern along the beach and the helicopter and lifeboat have also finished there searches.” It is mostly likely that the search will be stood down until more information is received or further belongings are found.
Anyone with information that may be able to assist the Police or the coastguard is asked to call Hampshire Police on 101