Eastbourne inshore lifeboat, accompanied by helicopters, spent almost five hours in freezing conditions and driving rain searching for a body in the sea near Beachy Head today (Thursday, January 12).
The volunteer crew responded to a report of a discovery of a motorcycle and clothing found abandoned on the cliff-top at Belle Toute around 10.30am.
They searched the shoreline for a person who was thought to have jumped from the cliff earlier in the day and been carried away by the tide.
Along with coastguard teams from Birling Gap and Eastbourne, coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and local police, an exhaustive search was conducted from Birling Gap to Cooden.
Midway through the operation the lifeboat returned to station for refuelling and for the crew to warm up before returning to sea.
But nothing was found and the combined services were finally stood down at 3.15pm.
The inshore lifeboat returned to station and made ready for service.