London: Five young Sri Lankan-origin men who were on a day trip to a packed beach in southeast England have mysteriously drowned on a day that was Britain's hottest day of the year so far.
Three of the victims were airlifted from sea on Wednesday and two other bodies were discovered washed ashore later the same day at a popular beach resort of Camber Sands in East Sussex.
While formal identifications remain pending, the men have on Thursday been named locally as Nitharsan Ravi, Inthushan Sri, Kuru Anna and brothers Kobi and Ken Nathan.
All five are believed to be in their late teens and early 20s and belong to the British Tamil community in southeast London.
Friends began paying tribute to the victims today, with messages such as "RIP" and "Miss you" posted on their Facebook pages.
Ravi's cousin said the family were still waiting "but the police have contacted us and we think it's him."
Sussex Police has since indicated that so-called "rip tides", or fast flowing bodies of water that can drag even experienced swimmers into deep water, may be the cause of the mysterious deaths.
The force's Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: "People need to understand that although the sun is shining and the sea is lovely to play in there are dangers there that you need to know about.
"My first reaction to this was there are rip tides that happen at Camber Sands and people do not understand about rip tides."
Thousands of sunbathers on the beach had watched in horror as the bodies of three men were lifted from the sea on Wednesday, which was Britain's hottest day of the year.
Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly of Sussex Police said: "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.
"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."...