Body found after search operation off Brighton beach during Storm Noa

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A body has been found washed up on the beach after a search operation off Brighton Palace Pier during the heavy winds of Storm Noa.

Coastguard helicopters and RNLI lifeboats were involved in the rescue effort, which was launched on Wednesday afternoon after a report of a person in the sea off the coast of the East Sussex city.

The body was found at 8.15am on Thursday, Sussex Police said.

Wednesday’s search came as Storm Noa caused havoc across England and Wales, with 75mph gusts of wind leaving hundreds of properties without power, trees down and causing travel delays.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “Shortly after 4pm (on Wednesday), HM Coastguard received reports of a person in the water at Doughnut Groyne close to Brighton Pier.

“An extensive search of the area took place throughout the evening until 9pm in challenging conditions.

“The Newhaven, Littlehampton and Shoreham Coastguard rescue teams, alongside Shoreham and Newhaven RNLI all-weather lifeboats, Sussex Police and the Coastguard helicopters from Lee-On-Solent and Lydd were sent to assist.

“Further searches have been conducted from 6am (on Thursday), in more favourable weather conditions. The search ended around 8am.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “An investigation into the circumstances is ongoing and further updates will be provided in due course.”

Describing the previous incident, the force spokesman said: “Emergency services conducted a search off Brighton beach shortly after 4pm on Tuesday April 11.

“Sadly, the body of a woman was found. Her next of kin have been informed.

“Her death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for HM coroner.”

Elsewhere during Wednesday’s storm, in Fareham, Hampshire, a woman was badly hurt when scaffolding fell on to a main shopping street.

And at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, customers on the Big One rollercoaster had to be escorted down after the ride was stopped because of the adverse weather.

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