Five men who drowned at a British beach were in their late teens and early 20s and from Greater London, police believe.

Sussex Police said they understand the men were spending the day at the beach when they died at the popular beach near Rye on Wednesday.

Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly said they were wearing clothes "appropriate for being at the beach for the day" amid reports the men had been fully clothed in the water.

She went on: "We believe we now know who the men are and that they came to the beach together for the day.

"We believe they are all in their late teens and early 20s and come from the Greater London area.

"These men were not fully clothed when they were pulled from the sea but wearing clothes appropriate for being at the beach for the day.

"We have no further reports of anyone else missing from Camber and there are no ongoing searches related to this incident.

"This has been an incredibly tragic incident and we are offering their next of kin support at this difficult time and our thoughts are with them."

It was earlier thought a sixth person was missing but police have confirmed no further search is happening.

The first three men were pulled from the sea in the early afternoon on Wednesday.

Another beachgoer later found two bodies on the shore and reported seeing another in the water.

One person said police had told her to stay out of the sea due to a rip tide while another, who did not want to be named, said: "We noticed when we came here that there were no lifeguards.  

"We had kids here and we were worried about them."

But he said he could not understand how the men had run into difficulties as the sea appeared calm.

"The sea is very shallow for quite a long way," he said.

"It seems so strange how they got into trouble. There was no waves and no wind."

A spokesman for Rother District Council said that, even though there were no lifeguards, there were summer patrols to advise people of potential dangers, reunite lost children with their families and deal with incidents on the beach.

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