A MAJOR rescue operation took place this evening after a swimmer got into trouble in rough seas.

Emergency services were called to Black Rock in Brighton after a man was swept eastwards towards Brighton Marina by strong currents.

A large group of people were seen rushing towards Black Rock beach as lifeguards arrived.

Kim Palmer, who witnessed the rescue, said: "Initially I saw a group of about 50 people running down the beach.

The Argus: A lifeboat was paged to help with the rescueA lifeboat was paged to help with the rescue

"It was the commotion that caught my eye. It looked like a very large family group out on a day trip perhaps.

"Then I saw there was someone in the water.

"A man in his swimming trunks had a life buoy and he was attaching this to a rope, and then he went in to try and help his friend.

"Two red and yellow lifeguard vehicles then stormed up and one of the guards charged out to sea."


The Argus:

Kim said he saw the lifeguards successfully rescue the swimmer, who had got severely out of his depth, and bring him to shore.

The Sussex Square resident added: "The waves were fierce and by this stage there was quite a big crowd around.

"Lots of Coastguard vehicles and ambulances were coming down the drive and a lifeboat was out, but it was the lifeguards who rescued the man.

"Apparently the most dangerous bit is the bit between Black Rock Beach and the outer Marina harbour arm because the waves come in and there's nowhere for the energy to dissipate.

The Argus:

"I think he had been pushed east from the pier end all the way to the Marina."

An RNLI Shoreham Lifeboat was launched at about 5pm as part of the rescue operation.

Many ambulances attended and it has been reported that the swimmer received casualty care at the scene.

The Argus:

South East Coast Ambulance Service have been contacted for a full statement.