Winchelsea aircraft crash: Search teams stood down

HM Coastguard Stock SUS-151006-161015001
HM Coastguard Stock SUS-151006-161015001
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The Coastguard has called off the search for a missing pilot whose plane crashed into the sea earlier today (Saturday, August 6).

A light aircraft ditched into the sea about half a mile off Winchelsea Beach shortly after 5pm.

Rye Harbour RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and Dungeness RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat were launched and crews were conducting searches in an area between Winchelsea Beach and Pett Level beach.

But at 10pm the HM Coastguard stood down the search and the lifeboats have returned to their respective stations.

A spokesperson for the RNLI said the lifeboats will be made ready to re-launch if requested by HM Coastguard.

Also involved in the search this evening were Rye Harbour and Dungeness Coastguard Rescue Teams and two Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopters.

Some wreckage, believed to be from the aircraft, has been washed ashore at Winchelsea Beach.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) will lead an investigation into the crash.

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