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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006, 17:44 GMT
Swimmer dies despite sea rescue
A swimmer aged in his early 50s has died after being pulled from the sea off the coast of East Sussex.

Police said there were several reports of a "man in distress" off the beach at St Leonards at lunchtime.

The Hastings inshore lifeboat was directed to the swimmer by members of the public on the beach.

The lifeboat crew managed to pull him aboard, despite the rough sea conditions, but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Conquest Hospital.

Gale force winds

The man was unconscious when he was brought ashore and there were unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate him.

Police said the dead man's next of kin had yet to be informed, but the coroner's office had been notified of the death.

A spokesman for Hastings RNLI said the three-man lifeboat crew were at their "operational limit" in gale force winds.

"They showed great seamanship and commitment to ensure the casualty was recovered to shore without delay," said Coxswain Martin Phillips.

The man was 100m offshore opposite the Royal Victoria Hotel on St Leonards Marina.

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