STAFF and fellow students at Uxbridge College are mourning the death of a 17-year-old from the college following what is believed to be a tragic accident on a beach in West Sussex.

Emergency services were called to West Wittering at around 1pm on Tuesday (2).

The boy was in a college party on a trip to celebrate the end of term.

He got into difficulty while in the water and could not be saved, according to the college.

He was airlifted to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His family have been informed.

“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the boy’s loved ones at this heartbreaking time,” said Det Insp Darren Taylor, of Sussex Police.

Uxbridge College principal Dylan McTaggart said: “This was a tragic accident that has had a huge impact on everyone here.

“Our priority now is to look after all those affected. We have enlisted the help of qualified counsellors and will make sure that#, over the next [few] days and weeks, we have staff and professional support available to our community.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they grieve the loss of a much-loved child.”