Sussex seafront evacuation: 18-month child falls ill after trip to the beach

Officers continue to scour the beach
Officers continue to scour the beach

A toddler from Sussex has suffered from stinging eyes and vomiting after a visit to the beach this morning (August 11), following reports of 'hazardous material' in the area.

Worthing Pier and parts of the seafront were evacuated this afternoon as visitors reported stinging eyes and vomiting.

Worthing's Chris Leigh, who lives in Heene Road in the town, said he had visited the beach with his family at around 9am that morning.

Heene Road is in the middle of an area that was sealed off between Grand Avenue and Windsor Road.

"We were on the beach this morning, but we had no idea," he said.

"I started getting sore eyes and thought it was the wind whipping up the salt in the sea. Then my 18-month old lad started getting really sore eyes.

"I was like 'come on, let's just go home', because it was windy anyway. We'd been back at the flat for about ten minutes when his mum came in and said 'Jude's just been sick'.

"Again, I thought nothing of it because babies are sick all the time, but then I went on Twitter and saw the news and realised it was probably that."

Thankfully, Jude's symptoms subsided and he even attended a birthday party this afternoon. Chris's eyes also improved, but the experience had left a troubled feeling with the family.

"You still worry because you don't know what it is you've been breathing in," he said. "It happened so early, it shows it's been around for a lot longer than when they closed the seafront off."

Read more eyewitness reports of the incident here: Worthing seafront evacuation: Eyewitnesses reveal 'confusion' as masked officers confront 'hazardous material'