Two divers have died after getting into trouble in the English Channel.

The men, aged in their 40s, were diving off Eastbourne this afternoon, Sussex Police said.

The alarm was raised and they were airlifted to Eastbourne District General Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Ling said: "Tragically two divers have died after getting into difficulty while diving in the Channel.

"We are informing their families and will be conducting an investigation into the circumstances."

Police said the men were not from Sussex and had been with a group of divers when police were alerted by the Dover Coastguard at 1.40pm.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the dive boat was in mid Channel, south of Eastbourne, when the men got into difficulties. It said one of its rescue helicopters flew the men to hospital.