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Witnesses sought after paddle boarder dies following rescue from the water off Lepe beach

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POLICE are urging witnesses to come forward after a paddle boarder died following an incident off a New Forest beach on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency crews, which also included paramedics, RNLI and coastguard teams, rushed to Lepe beach at Exbury in response to a call-out shortly before 4pm reporting a man was unconscious in the Solent.

The 51-year-old casualty was taken by ambulance to Southampton General Hospital but despite the best efforts of emergency services was later pronounced dead.

RNLI lifeboat crew patrolling the scene at Lepe beach on bank holiday Monday
RNLI lifeboat crew patrolling the scene at Lepe beach on bank holiday Monday

His death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

Officers investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident are calling on people who may have seen it take place to get in touch.

They particularly want to hear from the occupants of boats that were in the water at the time and helped rescue the man.

The beach is popular with swimmers (50297555)
The beach is popular with swimmers (50297555)

A spokesperson for the Hampshire force said: “We know that there were a number of people in the area at the time who attempted to assist the man and the people he was with who we’d like to make contact with.

“We’d specifically like to speak to several members of the public who helped the man from the water into their boat and several others on another boat who assisted a woman at the scene.

“We’d also like to speak to the person who communicated a ‘May Day’ call to alert emergency services to the incident.”

People are also urged to come forward if they were on the beach or in the area from 2.30pm onwards and witnessed what happened.

Anyone with information should contact officers on 101, quoting incident reference number 44210344158.

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