Five bodies are recovered at a beach in England

Helicopters were scrambled to the scene at Camber Sands

Five bodies are recovered at a beach in England

File photo of police officers on Camber Sands near Rye, East Sussex in England | Image: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Five bodies have been found at a beach in the English village of Sussex.

Richard Tollett, lifeboat operations manager at the RNLI in Rye Harbour, confirmed one body was found on the beach and one in the water.

The discoveries take the number of deaths at Camber Sands on the the UK's hottest day of the year to five.

The alarm was first raised at about 2.15pm yesterday, the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

Search-and-rescue helicopters were also scrambled to the scene, along with an air ambulance, as well as lifeboats.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "One man was rescued at around 2.10pm and at around 2.20pm another person was seen in the water and was also rescued. A third person was rescued at 2.35pm."

"The three men, who have not yet been identified, sadly died despite efforts to save them."

A further two males were pulled from the water at about 8.30pm last night, the RNLI said.

The bodies were discovered by a member of the public as the tide receded.

Mr Tollett said: "As the tide has receded it has left a couple more bodies on the beach in the sand at Camber."

"A member of the public found them and that person reported another one in the water so we have got two lifeboats and a helicopter searching the area trying to find the other one."

"Incredibly tragic situation"

There were reports that some of the victims had encountered a swarm of jellyfish but sources at Rye Harbour RNLI said this was highly unlikely.

One beach-goer said police told her to stay out of the sea due to a rip tide.

One witness, Natalja Taylor (30) who was on a day-trip with her husband, said police were driving up the beach with a megaphone urging people to stay out of the sea.

She told the Press Association: "We were sat on a hill a bit further away and we saw three people being pulled out of the water. I think the people who rescued them were regular people, not emergency personnel."

"We don't know what condition they were in. There were so many people there. They were still on the beach when we left."

"Police drove on to the beach with a loudspeaker, telling people not to go into the water until further notice. They also taped off a huge chunk of the beach so no-one could get near it."

Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly said: "This has been an incredibly tragic situation. At this stage we are doing all we can to establish who the men are and to identify next of kin."

"We are continuing to work with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Royal National Lifeboat Institute, South East Coast Ambulance and Rother District Council to establish what has happened."

It is the second serious incident recently at Camber Sands.

Last month, Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz (19) died after getting into difficulty while swimming in the sea there.

The rescue came as it was announced that a two-year-old girl who was swept into the sea at Newquay with her father last week has died.

McKayla Bruynius died at Bristol Children's Hospital on Tuesday night.

She and her father were knocked into the sea by a large wave amid strong winds at Fistral Beach last Friday.

Her father Rudy, aged 33, died that day. Five other people were killed in tragedies around the British coast within a 24-hour period.