Coastguard helicopter assists search after 'several children' go missing at West Wittering Beach

A number of small children were reported missing at West Wittering Beach on Tuesday (June 1).

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:54 pm

According to Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team, it was first called at 12.36pm to reports of a missing four-year-old child.

Hayling Lifeboat, Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue Team and Coastguard Helicopter 'Rescue 175' were all tasked to assist in the search.

A spokesperson added: "Coastguard search teams were deployed to the east and west and the Coastguard vehicle 'Selsey Mobile' drove round East Head.

Coastguard Helicopter 'Rescue 175' was tasked to assist in the search.

"The girl was found by Selsey Mobile on East Head and was brought round to the Lifeguard Tower and reunited with her parents."

The team stayed on scene as 'several other children' were reported missing.

"Once all children had been located the team and all assets were stood down," the spokesperson said.

"Free child safe wristbands are available at the Lifeguard Tower on West Wittering Beach.

"Please use them and keep and eye on your children at all times when visiting the beach."

In an emergency out at sea, on the beach or along the coast dial and ask for the Coastguard

The Selsey Coastguard added: "If you lose your child on the beach, stay calm, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard and let any lifeguards on a lifeguarded beach know.

“The coast and the sea can catch you out whether you’re local or not.

"Our message remains: call 999 Coastguard if you’re in trouble. Please help us and our families to stay safe. Be aware of the risks, and keep your distance.”

'Worst queue I have ever seen'

Parking spaces at West Wittering Beach were fully booked this bank holiday weekend and queues in the village continued this week.

On Tuesday, Fred Ellis took to Twitter and said: “Anyone heading for the Witterings? Worst queue I have ever seen."

"Two hours plus by car from Chichester. Perfect storm of heatwave, coming out of lockdown and half term.”

The long delays were reportedly caused by emergency water main repairs on the A286.

West Wittering Estate said anyone planning a trip to the beach this summer will need to pre-book their parking to avoid the chance of being disappointed should they arrive to find the car park is fully booked.