Coastguards helping search for people stuck on shoreline near Birling Gap

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Coastguard Rescue Teams are helping the emergency services search for people who may be stuck on the shoreline after a ‘haze’ caused medical problems for dozens of people on the beach at Birling Gap.

The ‘haze’ prompted emergency services to warn people to stay away from the beaches and to keep doors and windows closed if living near the coast.

The first report came from Birling Gap just before 5pm today (August 27) where up to 50 people had been affected by irritation to eyes and throats.

The UK Coastguard, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and the South Eastern Ambulance Service are all involved in dealing with the incident.

Coastguard Rescue Teams from Birling Gap, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Newhaven have been involved in clearing the beaches in the area.

RNLI Lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven have been assisting by searching for people stuck on the shoreline.

Steve Carson, commander with the UK Coastguard said: ‘We are working with the other emergency services in the area to help all those affected. Our Coastguard teams are out clearing the beaches. Please help us by leaving the beach if you are asked to.’

A Coastguard spokesperson said, “This seems to have been caused by an unknown haze coming in from the sea, but the source has not yet been established.

“People living along the coast in the area have been advised by emergency services to keep doors and windows shut and to move away from the Birling Gap area in particular.”

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service continues to maintain a presence in the local area following a report of a ‘haze’ that is causing discomfort for people along the coast, with affects being reported from Birling Gap to Bexhill and towards Hastings in East Sussex.

Emergency Services are urging people to stay indoors with windows and doors shut and where possible, move away from the area.

If you feel any effects, such as stinging eyes, the South East Coast Ambulance Service is advising to wash with copious amounts of water and that if you have any serious concerns then you should seek medical advice.

People are urged not to go to hospital unless an absolute emergency.