Police have said the five people after being pulled from the water at Camber Sands were not fully clothed and were wearing clothes "appropriate for being at the beach for the day". The bodies of five men were pulled for the sea at the beach in east Sussex on the hottest day of the year.
Emergency services were called to the beach at 2.10pm to reports of a person in the sea, followed by a second person in difficulty around 10 minutes later. Just after 2:30pm, a third person was rescued but all three later died. Later in the day two more bodies were discovered.
There were some questions as to whether the men may been migrants who drowned attempted to across the sea following unconfirmed reports they were found fully clothes. Police have now dismissed these suggestions and said they believe all five were from the Greater London area.
Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly 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.
"We have no further reports of anyone else missing from Camber and there are no on-going 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."
The beach was very busy as temperatures reached more than 30C in south east England. Eyewitness Natalja Taylor, 30, told the BBC that conditions at the beach had been good. "It's pretty scary. I'm not sure how it happened. It wasn't particularly windy down there, it was just a hot, sunny beach day."
Rother District Council estimate around 25,000 people use the beach each day when the weather is warm. The council has been criticised after it was emerged no lifeguards were on duty at the beach on the day the men died.
A spokesperson for Rother District Council said that, despite this, there do deploy summer patrols to advise people of potential dangers while at the bech, as well as reuniting lost children with their families and other incidents. The spokesperson added: "While it's very upsetting to see two similar, tragic incidents this summer, over the years these kind of incidents are extremely rare and on a fine day around 25,000 people use the beach safely.
"Although it's too early to draw any conclusions from this latest incident, in recent years we have seen a change in the make-up of visitors to Camber, including more people from outside the area who are not familiar with the sea and the dangers it can pose."
Police have also ruled out suggestions that jellyfish in the sea had a part to play in the men's deaths.