Coastguard agency responds to reports of person falling off Southsea pier amid D-Day 80

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Reports of a person dying after falling into the sea off South Parade Pier this afternoon while D-Day 80 commemorations were ongoing nearby at Southsea Common are “believed” to be a “false alarm”. 

Police presence in South Parade Pier in May.Police presence in South Parade Pier in May.
Police presence in South Parade Pier in May.

Witnesses reported seeing police and the Coastguard attend the incident around 5.30pm with a cordon said to have been put up at the scene. People present also said they believed it was a female who fell into the sea. 

However, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has now said it was a “false alarm”. The agency said they did attend an “incident in the vicinity of the pier” when asked about the occurrence.  

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A spokesperson then added: “HM Coastguard responded to reports of a person possibly in the water at Southsea this afternoon in the South Parade Pier area. 

“At around 5.30pm, Coastguard Rescue Teams from Portsmouth and Hill Head, lifeboats from Gosport and Portsmouth and the Coastguard helicopter from Lydd were sent to the scene alongside the fire and rescue service. After an extensive search, and with no one believed to be in the water, assets were stood down.”

It happened as thousands of people were paying tribute to heroic veterans to mark D-Day 80 at Southsea Common. King Charles, Queen Camilla, the Prince of Wales and other Royal Family members, along with prime minister Rishi Sunak, military personnel, local dignitaries and other special guests are among those present in Portsmouth today.