Swimmer still missing off Yarmouth

Hayley MaceA swimmer who went missing after getting into difficulties off Yarmouth beach has still not been found after four days.The man, in his early to mid 20s and who has not yet been named by police, went missing at about 2pm on Thursday while swimming off the resort's North Beach.Hayley Mace

A swimmer who went missing after getting into difficulties off Yarmouth beach has still not been found after four days.

The man, in his early to mid 20s and who has not yet been named by police, went missing at about 2pm on Thursday while swimming off the resort's North Beach.

The formal search was called off on Saturday morning and although lifeguards and coastguard patrols have been looking for him this weekend, he has not been found.

A spokesman for the Yarmouth coastguard said that the man, who is not thought to be local, will probably be found within the next few days.

He said: 'Our volunteer coast watch stations will be keeping an eye out for anything, as will all the lifeguards. Any coastguard patrols will also be looking for him but the formal search is no longer going on to any degree.

'Anybody who has been in the water so long would most likely have succumbed to hypothermia. I imagine it will now be two or three days before anything more is known.'

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On Thursday afternoon, a friend who had been in the sea with the missing man managed to swim back to shore and raise the alarm.

A search helicopter and lifeboats joined local police and the coastguard searching the area, on what was one of the hottest and busiest days of the year so far in the resort. The search continued with no success on Friday.

Last night, a mother-of-two told how her family day out turned into a nightmare as she saw the young man disappear beneath the waves.

Melanie McGowan, of Saxmundham in Suffolk, was on the beach with her husband David and their two young children when the tragedy unfolded.

She said: 'My husband and the ladies who were with him were so brave diving in to look for the man - they did it without a second thought. Although he hasn't been found, we've been telling ourselves since that we did all we could to help.

'It was just like being in a bad dream. It happened so quickly and when we realised there was nothing more we could do, we were just stood there and couldn't believe he had disappeared so quickly so close to the shore. We're still quite shaken up by it.

'I want people to be aware that these things can happen, even so close to the shore and on such a calm day.'

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