Eastbourne Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) spent almost five hours today searching in freezing conditions and driving rain for a person following the discovery of a motorcycle and clothing found abandoned on the cliff-top at Belle Toute. 

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 10.30 this morning and tasked to search the shoreline for a person who was thought to have jumped from the cliff-top earlier in the day and been carried away by the tide. Along with coastguard teams from Birling Gap and Eastbourne, coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and local police, an exhaustive search was conducted from Birling Gap to Cooden. Mid way through the operation the ILB returned to station for refuelling and for the crew to warm up before returning to sea. Nothing was found and the combined services were finally stood down at 15.15. The ILB returned to station and made ready for service.

Update at 16.00. A body was found on the beach between Belle Toute and Beachy Head by a coastguard team walking the beach at low tide.