A 38-year-old man has died after being swept into the sea near Brighton Palace Pier as torrential rain and high winds hit the seafront.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 1.30am on Saturday to search for the man.

Newhaven and Shoreham Coastguard rescue team and Brighton Lifeboat were dispatched after receiving reports of a person in the water between South Street and Regency Square.

The victim was recovered by Brighton Lifeboat and handed over to the ambulance service and back at Brighon Marina. He was confirmed dead. 

The Argus:

Roger Cohen, lifeboat operations manager for Brighton Lifeboat station, said: "Brighton Lifeboat crew was sent out at 1.50am after reports of a man in the water.

"The lifeboat crew recovered the man between Brighton Palace Pier and the West Pier under challenging conditions.

"He was brought on to the boat. The crew assessed him for signs of life and commenced CPR until he was handed over to the ambulance service.

"The lifeboat crew returned to Brighton Marina at 2.14am. 

The Argus:

"Our message to people is to not go into the sea when it's rough weather or dark, and follow the Respect the Water campaign.

"If you see anyone in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard." 

A spokeswoman from HM Coastguard said: "At 1.30am on Saturday morning, HM Coastguard responded to a report of a man swept away by rough seas on Brighton seafront. 

"HM Coastguard is warning people to take extra care near the water during this period of severe weather.  Stay back from piers, harbours, rocks and the water's edge.

"Keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

The Argus:

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "During the early hours of Saturday morning Sussex Police received information that a person was in the sea off the coast at Brighton.

"Police officers responded to the information along with the Coastguard and ambulance service.

"The man was brought out of the water. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of all the agencies the man was pronounced deceased.

"Next of kin have been informed and the matter has been passed to the Coroner’s Officer."

The Argus: