Press Notice No: Duty Notice 1
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Posted 11:27 GMT
MAJOR SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MISSING WOMAN OFF BOURNEMOUTH BEACH
At around 8.15 this morning Portland Coastguard took a call from the Dorset Police alerting the marine emergency service to evidence of a missing woman who had gone swimming in the sea much earlier today.
Some outer clothing had been discovered along with a hotel room key near a groyne at Bournemouths Undercliff Drive to the left of the Pier. A passing member of the public had found the clothing along with a bag and bus pass. The Poole and Southbourne Coastguard Rescue Teams were immediately turned out whilst the Police conducted their inland investigations. The Poole and Mudeford RNLI inshore lifeboats and Poole all weather were also asked to launch and the Portland Coastguard rescue helicopter began an air search. RNLI beach lifeguards have also been scouring the area.
The Coastguard Team identified footprints going into the water, yet none coming out, and the Coastguard began broadcasting a pan pan signal alerting craft in the area to the situation and to keep a watch out.
By just after 9.00 this morning a great number of Thundercats and their drivers who were due to take part in races off the beach also joined the hunt and were co-ordinated by the Coastguard in a line abreast across the whole length of the seashore.
Portland Coastguard Duty Watch Manager Ros Evans said
The weather is very fair today with a calm sea, light airs and a very good visibility of 8 nautical miles. Searches have been undertaken along the shore, out to sea and from the air from Shore Road to Boscombe with nothing found.
We are now appealing to the public to come forward if they have any further information about the missing woman. She is described as having been on the beach at around 5.00 am this morning which is unusual for this time of year. She is her mid 50s, with black hair. If anyone has seen anything unusual then could they please call the Coastguard at Portland on 01305 760439.
Posted By: Mark Clark
For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office
023 8032 9401