Police and Coastguard helicopter waste hours on ‘false report’ of missing swimmer off Brighton beach

An 18-year-old man has been arrested after making an alleged false report of a missing swimmer off Brighton. The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon (April 18).

Emergency services were called to report a swimmer missing in the sea off Madeira Drive. Several crews responded to the scene to help with the search.

Among those who helped were a Coastguard helicopter and several RNLI Coastguard boats. After extensively searching the coast for the missing swimmer, it turned out to be a false report, police said.

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An 18-year-old man from Luton has been arrested on suspicion of wasting police time. The suspect remains in custody at this time.

Pictures from last night show that the search is in full swing. Footage from 7.25pm ​​shows the Coastguard helicopter and RNLI boats searching the waters before being made aware of the false report.

A Coastguard helicopter was called in to help with the search

Detective Sergeant Toby Martin, of Brighton Investigations, said: ‘The call sparked a multi-agency response which lasted several hours and caused genuine concern in a very busy part of the city centre. This has prevented police and partners from attending real emergencies, and this kind of behavior is completely unacceptable.

“I would like to remind the public that willfully making a false report of this nature is an extremely serious offense and we will take strong action against offenders.”

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