THE mother of a 22-year-old lost as sea has thanked the emergency services for their help in searching for her.

Police have called off the search for the young woman was seen entering the sea off Brighton beach early on Sunday morning as Storm Dennis caused force ten winds and 10ft waves to crash onto the beach.

She still has not been found and is presumed to have died in the water.

The woman’s mother said: “On behalf of our family I would like to thank the emergency services and everyone else who has assisted in the search for our much-loved daughter.”

Crews from the Coastguard, RNLI and police spent hours searching the waves for the young woman.

The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter spent two hours searching between the piers and as far as the Marina, during the hours of darkness.

The search resumed at first light on Sunday - but no trace of the woman was found.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “At 2.45am on Sunday we received a report that a 22-year-old woman had entered the water on the beach at Brighton opposite Kings Road.

“An extensive search took place during the hours of darkness and during daylight on Sunday, both in the sea and on shore by emergency services including the Coastguard, Sussex Police and Brighton beach patrol staff.

“The weather was very bad with rain and high winds.

“The search finished on Sunday and sadly the woman has not yet been found.

“The circumstances are currently being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. Her family have been informed. She comes from East Sussex but we are not releasing her identity at this time. “

The all-weather lifeboat carried out a search for nearly three hours in storm force 10 conditions east and west of the Palace Pier along with the Coastguard helicopter, Coastguard teams from Shoreham, Newhaven and Littlehampton, Sussex Police and South East coast Ambulance.

Lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith said: “Storm Dennis meant the sea conditions were pretty horrendous and it was a challenging search.”