Two men have died after being pulled from the sea in Devon as the country basked in sunny conditions.
Devon & Cornwall Police said they were called by the coastguard at around 2pm on Thursday afternoon to reports that two bodies had been pulled from the water near Babbacombe Beach, Torbay, by an RNLI lifeboat.
The men, aged 25 and 26, were brought ashore and taken to Torbay Hospital but were pronounced dead, police said.
The deaths came as another man was found floating ‘face down’ in the water in nearby Torquay after tombstoning.
He was pulled to safety by two men and airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with serious injuries.
The incident came just days after authorities warned about the dangers of tombstoning.
Drew Parkinson, HM Coastguard Area Commander, said onlookers 'watched in horror' as the man was pulled from the water.
He said: "Just days after start warnings about the dangers of tombstoning in Plymouth a casualty has been rescued from cliffs by HM Coastguard.
"The incident took place at Imperial Ledge near Torquay.
"After jumping into the water and getting into significant difficulties, a young man was pulled from the water unconscious by a young teenager and his two friends as onlookers watched in horror.
"Owing to the serious nature of the terrain and the casualties injuries, a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was tasked to airlift the casualty to Derriford Hospital.
"Coastguards do not give safety advice to ruin fun, tombstoning ruins lives."
Police declared the situation on the coast a critical incident as sea swell and windy conditions caused multiple incidents on Thursday, throwing swimmers and kayakers against rocks.
In a third incident, two kayakers in Paignton were winched from the sea by a coastguard helicopter.
A spokesman said: "Devon & Cornwall Police has, because of the resources used and scale, declared it a critical incident. Strong winds and swell are causing swimmers to be thrown against rocks."
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